Is this the start of a new golden age for the Golden Stags?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 01, 2017 06:50 PM
Is this the start of a new golden age for the Golden Stags?
GOLD RUSH. In head coach Egay Macaraya's second season, San Sebastian will go all out to regain their place among the league's elite.

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 8-10, 7th place

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Michael Calisaan, Ryan Costelo, RK Ilagan



A season ago, San Sebastian College-Recoletos had, without a doubt, the most interesting second round.

Drowning in the abyss with only one win in the first 10 games, they then shocked just about everybody by ringing off consecutive victories against University of Perpetual Help, San Beda College, and Mapua University.

You know, three of the four teams who eventually made up the Final Four?

Still, the late spurt was all for naught as the Golden Stags found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture with a measly overall 8-10 record.

This time around, the boys from Recto will not wait for the second round to make their push. The team of the second round a season ago is determined to become the team of two rounds and more.

“Last year, nagpakita na rin naman kami ng medyo magandang pangitain. This year, everybody is ready especially kami pa ang host,” head coach Egay Macaraya said. “So everybody wants to win.”

That much is already evident in each and every one of his boys – if Macaraya is to be believed. “Yung mga bata talaga, gusto na ring manalo. They now believe in themselves,” he expressed.

He then continued, “They believe na pwede na kaming manalo every game.”

Indeed, Baste was one of the more impressive teams in the recently-concluded 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament. “What I like from what happened is yung character namin, nandun na rin. Nakikita kong hindi kami nag-gi-give up,” Macaraya said.

While there was no individual who stood out, it was definitely all of the San Sebastian squad which deserved props for its 8-3 record and quarterfinals finish. “The boys right now are playing their hearts out. Give credit to all of them kasi nakikita kong iba-iba ang nag-step up,” their mentor said.

From main man Michael Calisaan to “secret weapon” Jason David and from veteran captain Ryan Costelo to sophomore stud RK Ilagan, it was always a different name who showed the way in the Golden Stags’ preseason wins.

Talking about the variety of the players who were with him inside the press room in his post-win interviews, Macaraya quipped, “The good thing about all of this is we are playing as a team. Everybody is stepping up so every time we won, iba ang pumupunta rito.”

Still, the second-year head coach was not about to guarantee an end to the storied program’s four-year playoff drought. Asked about their goal, he answered, “One game at a time. hopefully, we can be aggressive as we were in Filoil.”

He then continued, “All we know is good things will happen if we will be ready.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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