AFTER a much-publicized verbal spat in the second round of the NCAA Season 93, San Sebastian’s Egay Macaraya and San Beda’s Boyet Fernandez will get the chance to settle things on the hardcourt in a one-game knockout for the last finals berth in the tournament.
The two squads face off on November 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena, weeks after one of Macaraya's players, Michael Calisaan, was publicly called out as a ’dirty player’ by Fernandez for his alleged ‘extra motions’ on the court.
Macaraya quickly came to his player’s defense, saying Calisaan is just merely playing tough while questioning Fernandez’s right to make such allegations.
Calisaan, though, was quick to put the issue behind him, saying he’ll remain as aggressive as he’s always been when they face San Beda.
“Para sa akin po, wala naman (na yun). Maglalaro lang po ako. Kung ano po 'yung masasabi nila sa akin, tatanggapin ko naman po,” said Calisaan, who is averaging 24.5 points and nine rebounds a game in elimination games this season.
“Kung mali po sa kanila, wala akong magagawa. Pero para sa akin po, ginagawa ko lang yung trabaho ko.”
Like Calisaan, Macaraya has already moved on and kept focus on the Stags playoff run.
“Well, para sa akin, that issue is closed already. Di naman nag-respond si Boyet. He should also understand kasi player siya e. He should know about hard work, (being a) fighter. Pag fighter ka, a lot of people will like you lalo na sa game of basketball,” said Macaraya.
“It’s not about being dirty. Di naman dirty. Sometimes, it happens. Tinamaan si RK (Ilagan) ngayon, I always get angry pag medyo nawawala sila sa focus, nilalabas ko pa. Because that’s part of basketball,” he added.
The 56-year-old Stags coach is happy that his players are responding to his advice not to respond or retaliate whenever the game gets physical.
Ironically, he cited Calisaan as a player who keeps his cool.
“When Michael was hit ng elbow nung player Benilde, anong sinabi ko kay Michael? ‘Tanggapin mo yan, wag kang masira.’ E kung masisira ka, then wala na kaming Michael Calisaan,” Macaraya continued.
“I guess, all my players right now, sinasabi ko na na they’re changing their attitude. Everybody is like Michael Calisaan na.”