Macaraya wants to bring Stags ‘winning attitude’ back
Coach Egay Macaraya has a touch of championship magic wherever he goes. Now he wants to bring the magic to the San Sebastian Stags.
Macaraya, who has steered San Sebastian-Cavite and Centro-Escolar to multitudes of titles in the NCAA-South, MMCAA and NAASCU and Cafe France to a PBA D-League crown last year, said that his first goal is to restore the winning attitude of the Stags when NCAA Season 92 opens on Jan. 25 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
“I want to get that winning attitude back in this team before we think of anything,” Macaraya, a former alumunus himself who took over from Rodney Santos early in the year, said in Filipino.
After making it to the Final Four three years ago, the Stags had a pair of losing seasons that saw them finish eighth with a 5-13 (win-loss) record two years back and seventh with a 6-12 slate last year, and change coaches twice.
Now San Sebastian hopes Macaraya will be the answer to its woes.
Winning though will not come easy for the Stags as they not only parted ways with Bradwyn Guinto, their pillar of inside strength, in favor of the PBA. They also lost a talented Ranzelle Yong, who tore a ligament that cost him the whole season.
And they almost lost Michael Calisaan, the team’s primary scoring source who figured in a vehicular accident last month.
Thankfully, Calisaan lost only some teeth and was spared a major injury.
Now the lanky, agile 6-5 wingman is out of the hospital and back in practice.
“We were very thankful nothing bad happened, it was really a blessing for us,” said Macaraya of Calisaan, who will come off the bench when they take on St. Benilde on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.
In the absence of Guinto, Calisaan and Jerick Fabian were named co-captains by Macaraya.
“They will be the leaders of this team and I’m confident they will lead by example on and off the court,” he said.
Aside from Calisaan and Fabian, Ryan Costelo, Allyn Bulanadi, Alvin Capobres, Jayson David, Chester Serajosef and Alfren Gayosa are expected to receive heavy playing time now that the rotation has got thinner.
Macaraya, though, has the patience to get that championship for San Sebastian.
“Winning usually starts with losing. I know that because I’ve been through that since I started coaching,” he said./rga
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