EMILIO Aguinaldo College head coach Ariel Sison can hold his head up high especially with the way his players performed in their campaign opener in the NCAA Season 94.
Though the Generals went on to lose 106-97 against the heavily favored Lyceum Pirates, they definitely refused to go down without a fight.
Down 31 against a red-hot Lyceum squad, the Generals went on a 36-8 tear to finish off the third period before fizzing out in the fourth period.
Nonetheless, Sison is proud of his wards.
“I told them on the third quarter, ‘this is the time we need to bounce (back).’ We need to get that 31-point lead to a single-digit lead. So maganda yung bunot, kasi pumutok kami sa labas,” said Sison.
More so than the grit and the heart that his players showed in that comeback, what gives Sison encouragement moving forward is seeing how his players react well to situations in the third period.
The adjustments came for the Generals and he was particularly excited with his players’ ability to read certain situations.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, kahit anong fastbreak ang gawin natin dito, pag di niyo ginawa at kinabahan kayo, walang mangyayari. So I told them to read the floor, don’t dribble right away, basahin muna yung court kung nasaan ang defender,” Sison explained.
“Read and react lang tayo. Kaya come third quarter, ayun. Nakukuha na namin yung game,” he added.
Sison is also thankful with how Hamadou Laminou returned from a season-ending ACL injury last Season.
The 6-foot-8 slotman finished with 34 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks -- and he’s not even at 100 percent yet after having just returned to full-contact practice three weeks ago.
Sison vows to be patient with him.
“Laminou is still our main guy. He almost played 40 minutes today to allow him to get back to his rhythm kasi ito pa lang siya nagsisimula palang siya ulit,” Sison said.
“I told him, ‘I will be patient with you. Tumira ka lang, get those shots.’ Laminou is still our main and go-toguy.”
With reports from Kate Reyes