NCAA 95: Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 02, 2019 06:11 PM
CSB goes back to war with a mostly intact core that also added a couple of solid pickups from its thriving high school program
HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 10-8, 5th
YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Kendrix Belgica, Justin Gutang, Yankie Haruna, Clement Leutcheu, Unique Naboa
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Ladis Lepalam, Mark Sangco
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM CSB?
A year ago, CSB came oh so close to finally breaking through to the Final Four.
Now in NCAA Season 95, the Blazers are bringing back a mostly intact core that only lost two-way guard Carlo Young.
Even so, rising star Justin Gutang remains in green and white alongside tireless workhorse Kendrix Belgica, hard-nosed forward Edward Dixon, pint-sized playmaker Unique Naboa, and Cameroonian center Clement Leutcheu.
“We have no doubt Edward Dixon and Kendrix Belgica will be stepping up for us big time.” – head coach TY Tang
They will also be joined by a couple of sophomores being eyes to take the next step in Prince Carlos and Robi Nayve as well as a pair of standouts from CSB-La Salle Green Hills in 6-foot-8 raw project Ladis Lepalam and long-limbed wing Mark Sangco.
All that may very well be the perfect mix TY Tang has long been looking for now in his third year at the helm – and that elusive playoff berth may very well be within reach for the Taft-based team.
“We can always say we are ready but the result will show if we are or we are not. For us, we are just looking forward to again play in the NCAA.” – head coach TY Tang
WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM CSB?
NCAA Season 95 is Gutang’s time to transform from an impact rookie to a bonafide star.
Without a doubt, CSB will go wherever its Filipino-American takes it, but that also means that the do-it-all swingman would need to take on more of a leadership role for his young supporting cast.
“In terms of playing inside the court, no doubt na siya talaga ang leader namin, but more than the on-court stuff, it's more of his character, yun ang hinahanap namin sa kanya. When you're a leader, you're supposed to command and earn the respect of your team. That's where we want him to lead. He's still a work-in-progress with his maturity, pero nag-improve naman.” – head coach TY Tang
In that light, it’s only a step in the right direction that the Blazers are, at long last, getting to add talent from its thriving high school program. Lepalam and Sangco may be under the radar pickups, but both are more than capable of being key cogs for a contender.
WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR CSB?
CSB has long been longing for another run to the Final Four, or even the Finals, after the school took the league by storm by winning the championship in its early years of membership.
In recent history, the Blazers have fallen a win or two short of the playoffs more than a few times.
With the field as wide open as it has been in a long while, NCAA Season 95 may just be the opening they need to finally get that Final Four monkey off their backs.
“To get to the playoffs is our main goal.” – head coach TY Tang
WHERE WOULD CSB BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95?
CSB will be fighting with its all for a place in the Final Four, but it is far from a shoo-in.
Coach TY needs even more lucky bounces to go his way if he is to finally accomplish the mission he set out for with the Blazers.
WHEN IS CSB’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95?
CSB begins its quest for a breakthrough when it wages war against Emilio Aguinaldo College on July 9 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.
HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95:
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.