Former SSC stars have what it takes: Macaraya

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    THE prolific 1-2 punch of wingman Allyn Bulanadi and playmaker RK Ilagan torched opponents while they were playing for San Sebastian College in the NCAA.

    If things go accordingly, Bulanadi and Ilagan could link up and bring the same firepower anew in the pro league, according to Golden Stags coach Egay Macaraya, who handled the two during their collegiate careers.

    “One thing for sure, given the right exposure, we both know and see they can deliver. Both are impact players,” Macaraya told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “(They) can score at any given time and have the knowledge and experience to be scorers or role players,” he added.

    The 5-foot-8 Ilagan was tabbed by Alaska in the third round of last Sunday’s PBA 46th season draft, while the 6-foot-2 Bulanadi was picked by the Aces in the special Gilas Pilipinas proceedings in 2019 but has yet to suit up for the Fred Uytengsu-owned ballclub.

    To reprise their partnership with Alaska, Bulanadi must finish his commitment with Gilas first and Ilagan, who opted not to play his final year with San Sebastian and instead turn pro, must be signed by the Aces.

    For Macaraya, there’s no doubt his former prized players can promptly make an impact.

    “Talking about Allyn Bulanadi, I think we know that whatever team he plays for in the PBA if he’s healthy he could surely help the team win. He can play both offense and defense and a very reliable rebounder plus his Gilas experience,” Macaraya said.

    “With RK, as I’ve always said he’s a great spacer and a point guard. He’s matured, has knowledge of the game and could give a lot of room inside for his team’s post offense because you can’t leave him open when you double team knowing his shooting capabilities anywhere in the court.”

    Macaraya said it will also help that Bulanadi and Ilagan have been teammates for so long.

    “Being teammates for so long could be an advantage when it comes to their teamwork,” he said. “They can jell easily and adjust.”

    Alaska went for former Perpetual Help big man Ben Adamos at No. 6 overall then selected Fil-Canadian Taylor Browne with its No. 16 selection and former Far Eastern University guard Alec Stockton also in the second round.

    The Aces traded star forward Vic Manuel last month and signed free agents Gab Banal and Yousef Taha.

    Alaska wound up with a 7-4 card after the elimination round in the last Philippine Cup bubble in Clark for sixth but lost to twice-to-beat TNT in their quarterfinals duel.