SAN SE­BAS­TIAN COL­LEGE RECO­LE­TOS GOLDEN STAGS

ON NOVEM­BER 3, 2008, THE SAN SE­BAS­TIAN COL­LEGERECO­LE­TOS MEN’S BAS­KET­BALL TEAM OF­FI­CIALLY HIRED ONE OF THE GREAT­EST PRO­FES­SIONAL PLAY­ERS OUR COUN­TRY HAS EVER SEEN TO BE­COME THEIR HEAD COACH. THAT MAN WAS NONE OTHER THAN ATO AGUSTIN. THROUGH HIS LEAD­ER­SHI

Rebound Magazine - - NCAA PREVIEW - by An­ton Roxas

“ So­brang bi­gat ng nawala sa amin,” said An­thony del Rio, when asked to de­scribe the state of the team go­ing into the NCAA’s 87th Sea­son. With the de­par­ture of vet­eran point guard Pam­boy Ray­mundo, del Rio now as­sumes the role of team cap­tain.

“ Siya (Ray­mundo)‘yung heart and soul be­fore. Nawala‘yung leader nam­in­pero hindi lang na­man siya. Si (Gil­bert) Bu­lawan din, malak­ing ba­gay‘yun,” added the for­mer San Se­bas­tian Sta­glet, who has also been con­verted into a point guard.

With Bu­lawan gone, Calvin Abueva (12.6 RPG, #1 last sea­son) has to play more min­utes at the power for­ward spot where he is un­der­sized at 6’3”. Abueva will need a huge lift from the 6’6” Ian San­galang who should av­er­age more re­bounds than the 6.8 per game he hauled in last sea­son.

And in or­der to gen­er­ate more of­fense as a team (72.6 PPG, 2nd last sea­son be­hind San Beda’s 84.5 PPG), wing­men Ron­ald Pas­cual (11.8 PPG) and Jonathan Semira (8.4 PPG) must up their scor­ing av­er­ages from last sea­son.

Bench

This year’s sec­ond unit will be a very im­por­tant fac­tor for the Golden Stags. In or­der for the team to be suc­cess­ful this sea­son, the play­ers com­ing off the bench must be able to pro­vide some back-up. Dave Na­jorda and Rey Gorospe are gone, so they badly need peo­ple to be brave and step up.

One-time Jose Rizal Univer­sity Team B player Michael Mi­randa is 6’5” and the tallest player on the bench. He will be San­galang’s re­liever. Dex­ter Maiquez, the un­her­alded

Pam­pangueño on the team, will now have the op­por­tu­nity to make some noise af­ter a quiet first two years in the league. Ath­letic sec­ond year guard Jovit de la Cruz is also back.

Among their rook­ies, only Ju­niors star for­ward Mark Magno’s name rings a bell. The vet­er­ans hope that the other new­bies strive to make a name for them­selves.

Coach­ing

Since Agustin’s de­par­ture, a lot of un­cer­tainty sur­rounded the team. There were even ru­mors of some of their vet­er­ans de­cid­ing to trans­fer to other schools. San Se­bas­tian seemed like it was on the verge of self-de­struc­t­ing.

In March, the team brought back multi-ti­tled Ar­turo “Turo” Valen­zona to once again be­come the team’s head coach. Valen­zona was the ar­chi­tect of the first and only San Se­bas­tian bas­ket­ball team to have won 4 straight NCAA Cham­pi­onships (1993-1996).

But, un­der his guid­ance, the Golden Stags failed to de­fend their cham­pi­onship in the 2011 Fil-Oil Fly­ing V Hanes Pre-sea­son Premier Cup. They fell in the quar­ter­fi­nal round of the tour­na­ment to the Adam­son Univer­sity Fal­cons.

San Se­bas­tian ended what was a whirl­wind off­sea­son, by qui­etly an­nounc­ing just 5 days be­fore the start of the NCAA 87th sea­son, that they were re­plac­ing Valen­zona with Topex Robin­son.

Iron­i­cally, Robin­son played un­der Valen­zona in San Se­bas­tian. At only 5’7”, Robin­son was a speed de­mon from Zam­bales who suc­cess­fully made it to the PBA. Re­cently, he had his coach­ing de­but in the PBA D-League as the head coach of the RnW Pa­cific Pipes.

Aside from Valen­zona, Robin­son has played un­der other ex­pe­ri­enced coaches like Bai Cris­to­bal, Yeng Guiao and Tim Cone.

Ato Agustin had at least 7 months to pre­pare his team for NCAA Sea­son 85. And in his first ever coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, he was able to win the ti­tle.

Topex Robin­son, had only 5 days to pre­pare his team for Sea­son 87.

In­tan­gi­bles

There is no player in the league like Calvin Abueva. There is no one as ag­gres­sive, as hun­gry and as fe­ro­cious as the man known as “The Beast”. No­body. A lot of peo­ple may not like him for be­ing overly phys­i­cal on the court, but Abueva says it’s re­ally noth­ing per­sonal. “Gi­na­gawa ko lang ‘yung best ko. Ga­nun lang lagi.” Abueva’s best has earned him two Myth­i­cal Five se­lec­tions but it’s the con­ta­gious en­ergy he sup­plies his team that makes them so tough to stop.

Out­look

Abueva has stated that he might con­sider go­ing pro. There­fore, this could be his fi­nal sea­son in the NCAA. It is now up to Coach Robin­son to make the most out of it be­fore they re­ally start re­build­ing from scratch.

C PF SF SG

PG Ian San­galang Calvin Abueva Ron­ald Pas­cual Jonathan Semira

An­thony Del Rio

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