Michael Calisaan embraces coach's challenge, makes progress in new role as Stags playmaker
Michael Calisaan has embraced his Stags coach's challenge to improve his playmaking skills. Dante Peralta

IF San Sebastian's Michael Calisaan is to reach the pros soon, he might have to reinvent his game now. 

This was Stags coach Egay Macaraya's advice to his prized cager, who was tasked to go out of his comfort zone and develop his playmaking skills. 

"Pina-practice namin siya na maging playmaker namin. Ayoko na na ginagamit siya as our five guy," said Macaraya. 

The 6-foot-4 Calisaan has primarily played the inside the paint for the Stags in the NCAA. But his mentor thought it's about time he develops the other facets of his game in preparation for the life after college ball.

It will be a smooth transition for Calisaan, added Macaraya. After all, he has all the tools to be an all-around cager who can make waves in the PBA.

"Gusto ko siyang matulungan mapuntang PBA. Kung walang coach na tutulong sa kanya on that one, pupunta pa rin siya as a four or five guy, wala siyang pupuntahan," said the amiable coach.

"I'm trying to develop him to be a three or a two para in the long run, mag-iba yung tema ng laro niya. Besides, Michael is agile, he can shoot, kumpleto rekados siya," he added.

So far, Macaraya has seen improvements particularly in San Sebastian's 76-68 win over Benilde in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.

Against the Blazers, Calisaan dished out four assists to go with 15 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block. 

Macaraya expects him to continue improving as the Stags also try to finetune themselves for the upcoming NCAA season which unfurls in July.

"Sanay lang siya maglaro ng four at five. At least, nagbabago naman," he said. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros