EGAY Macaraya is hoping that San Sebastian’s first two wins this NCAA Season 94 seniors basketball tournament will not be forfeited with RK Ilagan being penalized after playing in a “ligang labas.”
Speaking after the Golden Stags’ 94-70 win over Mapua on Tuesday, the soft-spoken mentor is praying to the heavens that the NCAA management committee will give them a favorable decision after its meeting later in the day.
“So far, we’re still praying. Hopefully, positive yun but even kung ano man ang mangyari, RK is still our player and we support him. Nagkamali siya and that’s why I told my players na let’s accept yung pagkakamali ni RK and let’s move on kasi kahit anong mangyari, susuporta pa rin kami kay RK,” he said.
Ilagan is currently being investigated, together with Letran rookie Koy Galvelo, after playing in the Bobby Taboho Cup in Tandang Sora, Quezon City on June 30, a day after the Mancom’s eligibility committee hearing.
What San Sebastian is fighting for is for their past two wins – a 67-65 squeaker over Perpetual and an 86-76 trouncing of JRU – to be upheld as it hopes to keep its 3-4 card intact.
“Yun ang pinaglalaban namin,” he said.
Macaraya admitted that San Sebastian only knew about the incident after the team’s fifth game, an 82-81 overtime defeat to Arellano last July 27 where Ilagan contributed four points in the losing cause. He says that the team immediately imposed a three-game ban that stretched for the remainder of the first round as they await the Mancom’s decision on the matter.
But he insisted that had they known about Ilagan’s situation, the Golden Stags management could have done something and appeal the matter to the Mancom before hand as similar instances have happened in the past.
“Kung aware lang kami, pwede sa NCAA na magpaalam on an important game. Nangyari na sa amin yun sa part ni (Gelo) Loristo sa juniors, nagpaalam sana kami sa NCAA na maglaro siya for that specific game sa Paniqui,” he said.
“Yun ang naging problema. Kung alam lang namin, why not na magpaalam kami? Di lang namin alam kung papayagan. Di ko alam yung ginagawa ng San Sebastian management committee. Yun lang ang hinihintay naming resulta, and if there’s ever any positive, di sana ma-default yung two games namin.”
Macaraya even blasted Letran coach Jeff Napa for not making him aware of the situation, saying: “What I was very frustrated is alam na ni Jeff Napa na meron palang ganung nangyari. Di man lang niya nasabi sa amin kasi di naman nila ginagamit si Galvelo and that’s what hurt us.”
Asked if its possible to see Ilagan return for San Sebastian’s campaign in the second round after his suspension, Maracaya answered in the affirmative, believing that the sweet-shooting guard has already paid his dues.
“Sure,” he quipped confidently. “He already paid yung parusa niya.”
Ilagan refused to comment on the matter as he awaits the final decision from the NCAA Mancom.