Ateneo plotting to play Isaac Go more as a power forward
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 14, 2019 07:58 PM
Could we get to see more of Isaac Go and Ange Kouame playing at the same time for Ateneo?
Isaac Go’s shots just continue dropping at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
On Thursday, Go fired 21 points, 12 coming from behind the arc, to shoot Cignal-Ateneo de Manila University to a 28-point rout, 103-75, of Go for Gold-College of St. Benilde.
This, just weeks after he averaged 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in their semifinals series up against San Beda University and then dropped 15 markers and three boards in their Finals triumph over University of the Visayas in the 2019 Philippine Collegiate Champions League.
Still, Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin wants to see more from his talented big man – especially as he heads to his last playing year in the UAAP. “He’s gonna shoot the ball better this year, but he’s gonna do other things as well. We’re working on his inside game and we’re working on his ability to put it on the floor,” he said.
He then continued, “We want him to be an international 4-man.”
Yes, coach Tab sees the 6-foot-8 Go, a center in the Philippines, more as a power forward in international play.
And the gentle giant only welcomes the idea proposed by his mentor who has spent much of his career around the world. “It’s a challenge because, as you see, a 6-foot-8 center isn’t really gonna perform well unless you’re really athletic, really strong. We have a lot of 5s in Poy [Erram], June Mar [Fajardo], Japeth [Aguilar], Andray Blatche, Christian Standhardinger,” he shared.
He then continued, “So the goal would be to try to get taller in the 4, or maybe the 3. The goal is to play, of course, for the Philippines and if that’s my way to do it, I’ll have to get better.”
Indeed, both in the D-League and the PCCL, Go has been busting out more dribbles and drives than usual to go along with his long-range missiles.
Of course, this is only the beginning of his transition – and coach Tab reminded everybody of exactly that. As he put it, “He’s got a long way to go. He’s got a lot of mobility and agility to work on, he’s gotta get better defending the perimeter, he’s gotta get better putting the ball down.”
He then continued, “There’s a lot of work in progress. He can shoot the ball and that’s a good asset, but there’s more to his game that we have to work on and develop.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.