Stags hoping stars would keep promise

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    WHO would not want to have two prized players suiting up in their last playing year?

    San Sebastian College coach Egay Macaraya said if and when playmaker RK Ilagan and big man JM Calma would have a change of heart and instead decide to turn pro in the PBA Draft set on March 14, he is ready.

    “Hopefully, they promised (to play their fifth year). But if ever they change their mind, I won’t stop them knowing how difficult our life is in this pandemic,” Macaraya told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “(We’re) hoping for the best,” he added.

    The 5-foot-8 Ilagan averaged 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, while the 6-foot-5 Calma was good for 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Golden Stags in the last NCAA cage wars.

    PBA hopefuls have until Jan. 27 to submit their requirements.

    The country’s oldest collegiate league intends to only have the four mandatory sports of basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field in its 96th season, set to be hosted by Letran, in the second quarter next year under a school-based concept bubble.

    Amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the fifth-year San Sebastian tactician said his charges are doing just fine.

    “We’re fine. Although limited ways to practice but thanks much to the internet, we do virtual practices,” Macaraya said. “Hoping for the pandemic to stop so we could start preparing for NCAA season on the court.”

    The Stags finished with an 11-7 record for fourth in 2019 but bowed to the eventual champion Knights in their stepladder semifinal battle.