Koy Banal looks to shake off rust as Marinerong Pilipino makes D-League debut
Koy Banal makes his coaching comeback as Marinerong Pilipino takes on a Batangas team coached by his former deputy Eric Gonzales. 

COACH Koy Banal hopes to shake off the rust in his coaching comeback as new team Marinerong Pilipino kicks off its PBA D-League Foundation Cup campaign on Tuesday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.

Banal makes his return to the sidelines after his one-year absence from coaching when the Seafarers take on Batangas in the 5 p.m.match.

“There’s a bit of rust. But it should not be an excuse,” said Banal, whose team will have his brother Joel as consultant.

Helping him lead the Seafarers in their conference opener are veteran Mike Isip, Achie Iñigo, and Julian Sargent.

But Banal is wary of the Batangas side led by coach Eric Gonzales, his former deputy. 

“Coach Eric is a champion coach and more or less, he knows my style," said Banal.

"He’s been my assistant for a long time in Arellano and we go way, way back. That’s one thing where my anxiety also roots from and he knows how to lead his team and motivate his players,” he added.

For Gonzales, Batangas is coming in as the underdogs. But his wards, led by Joseph Sedurifa, will definitely put up a fight. 

"We’re still a rookie team and coach Koy’s team is built on veterans so we’re just hoping for the best," he said.

Meanwhile, Wangs and Centro Escolar University clash in the curtain raiser.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros