AFTER San Sebastian, JRU and a few other teams, it was the turn of Emilio Aguinaldo College to parade its prized recruits for Season 90 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
On Wednesday, rookies Ariel Aguilar and Jerald Serrano impressed in their debuts to help the Generals score an 81-72 victory over College of St. Benilde at The Arena in San Juan.
Elevated from EAC’s juniors’ squad, Aguilar scored four of the Generals’ last six points that kept the Blazers at bay.
In all, the 19-year-old combo guard from Valenzuela pumped in 13 points, including two triples, and had four assists, two boards, one steal in 24 minutes.
“Nagtulungan lang kami lahat at binigay po naming ang lahat,” Aguilar said. “At sumunod po kami sa mga pinagawa ng mga coaches.”
Generals coach Gerry Esplana was pleased to see his newcomers withstand the pressure on the big stage.
“Kailangan lang ng batang ’to yung fine-tuning,” he said. “Pero yung intensity at aggressiveness niya, hindi nawawala.”
Serrano, on the other hand, flashed his feathery touch from outside to complement fellow big man Cedric Happi, who registered a double-double.
The 22-year-old Pampanga pride buried a total of three triples to finish with 11 points, five boards, and one steal in 23 minutes.
“Napa-pa-open niya yung depensa ng kalaban,” Esplana said of Serrano, a transferee from University of Manila who spent two years in the Generals’ Team B before getting called up.