ON paper, Barangay Ginebra’s import Zaccheus Mason’s basketball credentials pale in comparison to other incoming PBA imports in the Governors Cup, but new Gin Kings coach Jeffrey Cariaso is confident that their reinforcement will be up to the challenge.
For one, Cariaso said the 23-year-old native of Nashville, Tennessee is someone who “can do a little of everything” on the court.
“He’s (Mason) a good inside player. And what I like about him is his work ethic, just the guy who does sort of everything,” Cariaso told Spin.ph on the day he was to meet Mason for the first time after he arrived on an early-morning flight from the United States.
The 41-year-old PBA rookie coach said the PBA will be Mason’s first official overseas stint, coming fresh from college where he played major minutes for the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
The 238-pound Mason averaged 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during his final year with Chattanooga.
“He could shoot, good post player, great defender, that’s what we need,” Cariaso said with an air of confidence on Ginebra’s incoming reinforcement.
The soft-spoken freshman coach said he’s been soliciting feedbacks from the Ginebra players after their first week trying to master the triangle offense and so far, it has been all good.
“The first week has been really good. I like how the guys respond to what I’ve been teaching. We’re working hard and that’s what we can expect,” he said of his daily practices with Ginebra which he runs with Olsen Racela.
“I’m talking to the guys for feedback. It’s (triangle offense) not easy to learn, pero nakikita nila where they can attack, where the opportunities are, and it goes from the point guard to the big guys,” he added.
With Ginebra loaded with players who could score at every given opportunity, Cariaso believes the triangle is a perfect fit for the league's most popular team.
“That’s why they say it is equal opportunity kasi if you really run it well and you go through progressions, everyone will have a chance (to score),” he said.