Stags give Macaraya a golden welcome at expense of Blazers
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 26, 2016 04:42 PM
LUCKY STRIKE. With a little help from lady luck, Egay Macaraya is a winner in his first game back with San Sebastian.
College of St. Benilde had three shots to pull within one point, but San Sebastian College-Recoletos dodged every one of them on Sunday at the San Juan Arena.
Edward Dixon’s three straight misses from the line coupled with the slightly steadier hands of Alvin Capobres and Ian Valdez made the Golden Stags the victors in their war of attrition with the Blazers, 54-49, in the opening weekend of the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Team captain Jerick Fabian was the only one in double-digits for San Sebastian with 12 points, but they did just enough – along with a little bit of luck – to gift coach Egay Macaraya a successful first outing in his return as head coach.
Macaraya’s wards actually shot worse from the field than their opponents, 31 percent compared to 38 percent, and also tallied far less assists, three compared to 11. Still, they got off to a good start and were able to establish a lead of as high as 15.
The Blazers finally found their rhythm, however, as Fons Saavedra brought them to as close as 49-52 with 65 ticks on the clock. They then got the chance to cut the deficit to one only to see Dixon muff on two free throws – as well as the retry he received following a lane violation.
The Stags would not allow any makes from that point and Capobres and Valdez both split their free throws to register the margin of victory. Nothing but glad about their escape, Macaraya said, “Muntik na nga e. But we’ll learn from our mistakes.”
For CSB, It wasn’t only Dixon who was miserable at the line as, in all, they missed 17 of their 24 charities.
SAN SEBASTIAN 54 – Fabian 12, Calisaan 8, Ilagan 8, Capobres 5, Valdez 5, Baetiong 4, Bulanadi 4, David 2, Costelo 2, Sera Jose 2, Gayosa 1, Johnson 1, Mercado 0, Quipse 0, Miguel 0.
CSB 49 – Domingo JJ 10, Saavedra 9, Fajarito 8, Young 8, Haruna 6, Leutcheu 3, Dixon 2, Pasamante 1, San Juan 1, Belgica 1, Castor 0, Sta. Maria 0, Pajarillaga 0, Doming JS 0, Pili 0
QUARTER SCORES: 17-13, 31-19, 42-30, 54-49
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.