Stags’ Calisaan has come a long way since his motorcycle accident last year
Last year, Michael Calisaan was at the lowest point of his life after figuring in a motorcycle accident that led to his subpar showing in the NCAA.
He lost his confidence and his game. But slowly, Calisaan picked himself up and, with the help of his head coach Egay Macaraya, built his way back.
“Coach Egay really helped me. He took me wherever he go so I can regain my confidence,” Calisaan said in Filipino, harking back to his stint with Cafe France in the PBA D-League.
Lending a helping hand to Calisaan was a no-brainer for Macaraya after seeing how hardworking and strong-willed the 6-foot-4 forward is.
“When I first came to San Sebastian, I really knew that he had that fire in his heart. That’s why I really took him wherever I went because I see it in his eyes that he really wants to win,” Macaraya, who celebrated his 56th birthday, said.
Fast forward to Tuesday, and all of the trust Macaraya gave to Calisaan bore fruit in the form of San Sebastian’s 74-69 victory over Letran to claim the fourth seed in NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament.
The 22-year-old unleashed a career-best 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field on top of 10 rebounds.
His biggest moment came in the clutch, drilling the dagger trey from the top of the arc with 18.3 seconds remaining to seal the deal and bring the Golden Stags back to the semifinals for the first time since 2013.
“Maybe it’s because of all the hard work that coach has been telling us. We’ve been doing a lot of extra work in practice. We’re shooting not only 200, but 300 triples every day, so we really had the confidence shooting those threes,” he said.
Macaraya sees a bright future ahead of Calisaan.
“If he plays like that all the way, he can be one of the top picks in the PBA Draft. I just tell him that he always has to avoid distraction and just focus. He understands already how important his second life is, and the process to success is to just do the hard work,” he said.
Calisaan, though, isn’t looking that too far ahead as he keeps his sights set on the present.
“In the four years that I’ve been here, it’s only this time that we made it to the Final Four. What more if we become champions, right?,” he said.
“I’m just focused, thinking of ways on how we could win because I really wanted to win, especially it’s coach Egay’s birthday,” he said.
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