Golden Stags now have no fear because Macaraya is here

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 25, 2016 06:59 PM
Golden Stags now have no fear because Macaraya is here
BRAVE. Egay Macaraya has taken out the fear in the eyes of San Sebastian.

With only one win to show through nine games in the Round 1 of the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Egay Macaraya was in unfamiliar territory in his first go-round back with San Sebastian College-Recoletos.

Before his return to Recto, Macaraya’s Centro Escolar University was the gold standard in the NAASCU. Now in the country’s oldest collegiate league, however, the gold seemed to stay far away from the Stags.

Following back-to-back stunners, the tides just may be turning for the 50-year-old. “I’m very happy because they are showing character right now,” he expressed after his wards claimed their biggest win of the season – an upset of league-leading San Beda College.

This, coming on the heels of another stunner at the expense of University of Perpetual Help. “We wanted to win. We wanted it more,” he also added.

With a 2-1 standing in Round 2, San Sebastian seems like a different squad. And what is the difference? They no longer fear anything.

That may be fear in the form of a traumatic experience like Michael Calisaan’s motorcycle accident right before the season started. “Nadisgrasya ako kaya unti-unti lang yung recovery ko. Nung first eound, takot pa ako e,” he said.

And helping out in the versatile forward’s recovery was Macaraya. As Calisaan shared, “Pinu-push pa rin ako ni coach Egay na ibalik yung dati ko. Unti-unti, na-overcome ko yung trauma kaya paganda nang paganda laro ko.”

Indeed, from a dismal Round 1, the third-year Stag tallied his first double-double last Tuesday and against the Red Lions, no less.

Or that may be fear in the form of their first-year mentor himself who is known as a strict disciplinarian. As team captain Jerick Fabian put it, “Lahat kami, nag-struggle nung first round kasi lahat kami, natatakot kay coach. Natatakot talaga kasi istrikto.”

Little by little, however, Macaraya showed his wards that they had nothing to be afraid about. “Pero ngayon, na-overcome na namin yung takot at ngayon, nag-eenjoy na lang talaga kami. Ngayon kasi, sinasabi ni coach, ‘Sige, maglaro lang kayo,’” Fabian added.

Now they are back to believing in themselves, San Sebastian want nothing more than to making more noise in the tournament. “Sana magtuloy-tuloy na kasi masarap manalo lalo na kapag malakas yung team na tinatalo,” Calisaan said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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