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    Gab Banal brings wealth of experience as Go for Gold aims for D-League glory

    May 29, 2019
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    GAB Banal knows exactly why he was brought back to Go for Gold-CSB in time for the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs.

    "Coach Charles (Tiu) and Ty (Tang) brought us to give them experience," he said after he and Santi Santillan were picked up from the free agent pool to bolster the Scratchers in the playoffs.

    "Some of the things that we learned before, we can teach these young kids and we’ll make them better players come the NCAA. We're trying to teach these kids about staying composed, that you don’t need to rush everything."

    If there's someone Go for Gold-CSB players need to listen to, it's definitely Banal.

    The 28-year-old forward was the captain of the ship for the Scratchers when they snared the 2018 Foundation Cup last season over Che'Lu Bar and Grill.

    It was the same case on Tuesday as Banal drilled the game-winning trey from the top of the arc with 17.5 seconds left in Go for Gold-CSB's 84-81 win over Centro Escolar University that extend their quarterfinal series to a deciding Game Two.

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    Though the reinforcements immediately paid dividends for the Scratchers, Banal sees it as a real eye-opener for the young crew, especially after they squandered a 20-point lead.

    "To be honest, buti na lang nanalo kami. At that point, we were leading by 20 points and CEU still caught up so that showed a lack of experience on our part," said Banal, who was also named the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) MVP.

    "But for me, I’m just thankful for them for allowing me to have this opportunity to play with the boys, because at the end of the day, they’re still a college team. They’re still learning, and we're trying to give them this experience. That’s why we’re here, to help and give them experience."

    Banal and Co. hope to fasttrack that learning process as Go for Gold-CSB aims to advance to the semifinals with another victory over CEU on Thursday.

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    "It’s still a learning process for these St. Benilde guards. They just have to slow it down, be composed, be matured, and be experienced," he said.

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    PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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