Now or never for Laminou, Generals’ quest for 'history'
Alvin Laqui on Jun 30, 2017 10:26 AM
MAKE OR BREAK. Hamadou Laminou believes EAC Generals have a golden opportunity to make some history.
Coming off a 4-12 finish last year, Emilio Aguinaldo College isn’t exactly a team that’s favored to topple any of the more established teams coming into Season 93.
But don’t tell that to the Generals’ Cameroonian reinforcement, Hamadou Laminou.
With “a more complete team,” the 6’10” center believes that this is EAC’s biggest chance to break through to the Final Four – a feat the Generals haven’t done since joining the NCAA in 2009.
“We really have a more complete team this year, that's why it's really motivating for me to see some of those players who are stepping up and playing well,” he said. “It's really motivating because last year our team wasn't really complete.”
But the Generals have a small window of opportunity to make some history, especially since their captain, a much-improved Sidney Onwubere, will now be playing in his final year.
“We know what we're going to do because Sidney is a veteran too, so he knows better, and we hope he can help this season because this is his last season,” Laminou said. “Me, I still have two years.”
That’s why for Laminou, it’s now or never.
“This year, our goal, we have to really to make a run for history because EAC has never reached the Final Four. So that's what we're looking for, especially we have a big chance this year.”
And with sophomore coach Ariel Sison now with a team that he didn’t just inherit, the Generals are in good hands. “His plan is really working, we really have a big team. This is his team now,” Laminou said.
More than size, however, the big man also believes their team is much deeper that last year.
“Last year, I was with Sidney and Francis (Munsayac), we were the ones who were carrying the team, but this year we have a lot of players who can step up,” he said.
After growing up with the current core of EAC, Laminou is ready to cash in on their experience. “Every season, they call us double-double machines,” he said, talking about himself and Onwubere. “But we don't think about that, we're just going to do our job, and every game, we'll bring all the energy and then we'll just play hard and we can make it to the Final Four.”
And along with an improved roster, the EAC Generals worked on their weaknesses to put their quest for history in nobody else’s hands but their own.
“We worked on our weakness, shooting and post moves. Especially Sidney, he improved his three-point shooting. That's what we worked on. We really worked hard, so hopefully we can make it good this season in the NCAA.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @alvinlaqui.