SAN Mig assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso admitted that coaching the team in the final 1:17 mark of Game One against Air21 after Tim Cone's ejection gave him “on-the-job” training as he prepares to take over the head-coaching position at Barangay Ginebra.
Cariaso, a former player of Cone and until Sunday his chief assistant, took over with San Mig trailing by 10 points but managed to inspire the Mixers to get back in the and come within a three-point basket that could have sent the game into overtime.
They Said It!
“We’re gunning for our third straight championship, and then, I’m be looking for my next job." San Mig assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso
Import James Mays rattled off 13 straight points in the final minute before missing a potential game-tying three-point heave in the final second, allowing Air21 to escape with a 103-100 victory in the opener of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series.
“It felt like a little bit (head coaching experience), I mean, with the recent events, parang nagkataon na nagroon ka ng opportunity (to coach),” Cariaso said after the game.
“But it was a good experience, good test, a little bit, but something to look forward to.”
The 41-year-old 10-time All-Star is set to take over Ginebra practice when the team returns from a break on monday, but Cariaso made it clear that he intends to stay with the Mixers till the end of the conference as he tries to help the franchise win a third straight PBA title.
“I’m here (at San Mig) till we’re done,” he said. “Well, that’s (assuming the coaching post at Ginebra) gonna be kind of tricky, pero, basta I’m here at San Mig. I’m gonna finish this conference.”
“We’re gunning for our third straight championship, and then, I’m be looking for my next job.”