CAGAYAN Valley is pleased to see the locals step up as they begin a new campaign without top rookie pick Moala Tautuaa.
Abel Galliguez shone in the Rising Suns’ conference opener, coming up huge in the final period of the win against AMA University. Fellow holdovers Adrian Celada and Michael Mabulac also came up with double digit scores to help Cagayan start the tournament on a bright note.
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Team manager Fred Collado said they will overcome the loss of the Fil-Tongan big man, who signed only a one-conference contract with Cagayan Valley at the start of the season and at the end of the Aspirants Cup decided to sign with Cebuana Lhuillier.
Collado said they are now developing the players that decided to stay with the squad and help the Rising Suns do better after settling for runner-up honors in Aspirants Cup to Hapee.
“Mas gusto naming mag-handle ng mga players na talagang sa amin. Kahit local lang at hindi sikat, basta buo ang loob maglaro at may winning line sa dugo,” Collado said.
Cagayan Valley assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon said the players are responding well, so far, without Tautuaa.
“Nag-aadjust pa sila pero kailangan lang ma-bigyan ng kumpiyansa,” said Bonleon.