After falling short, Egay Macaraya expects a stronger Stags next year

San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya can’t help but wonder why the Stags failed to start the NCAA Season 92 seniors’s basketball tournament with a bang, managing to step on the gas when it was already too late.

The Stags were 1-8 in the first round, opened the next phase with four straight wins before getting knocked out of the Final Four race when they lost to defending champion Letran Knights.

“Yun ang question dun eh. So I guess it’s the lack of preparation and the mentality na it’s okay to lose;” Macaraya said, after the Stags ran over the pathetic College of St. Benilde Blazers, 66-57, at the San Juan Arena Thursday.

The win however, hardly had any Final Four implications since both teams are already out of contention.

“Magandang aral sa amin ito for the next NCAA (season). It’s all about preparation and it’s all about the system and the program. Kailangan talaga kahit anong klaseng game pipilitin pa rin naming manalo,” shared Macaraya, who won an NCAA title as a player in 1985.

And while the Stags will be bowing out of the season with a losing record, Macaraya said he remains steadfast in his commitment to impose a winning culture in San Sebastian.

“Ang sinabi ko naman it’s not about Benilde, it’s about the game,” stressed the 50-year-old mentor, who is best remembered for steering Cafe France to an improbable championship run in the PBA D-League last year.

“Ang gusto ko naka-focus yung mga bata in every game na hindi talaga magre-relax kasi mayroon pa kaming two remaining games.” – John Chester Fajardo

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