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gameface_one
06-22-2010, 12:22 AM
EAC: New Battles Ahead
by Joe Buduan

Emilio Aguinaldo College certainly must have learned a thing or two in their maiden season last year in the NCAA. An NCRAA and UCAA powerhouse the Generals found the going very rough and tumble in their first foray into NCAA basketball. “We knew the NCAA would be a tough league with a lot of strong teams, we really just wanted to play our game and try to be competitive,” said head coach Nomar Isla in one offseason interview.

For sure those lessons were all hard ones for the NCAA newcomers. Playing mostly their high-low and swing game, the Generals found themselves facing tightly-packed zone defenses and quick rotations and hard shows off screens. It was a very difficult learning curve, but one that allowed them to improve over the course of the season. Apart from the lessons learned, their own stars emerged in the heat of battle, as certain players distinguished themselves with consistency and toughness.

Arguably the most prominent player for EAC last season was pointguard Argel Mendoza, a well-built 5-foot-9 dynamo. Mendoza had to learn the fine art of guard play in the NCAA the hard way: he led the league in turnovers in the early goings and could not seem to direct the offense for his team. He eventually figured things out and made it to the NCAA All Star team. Mendoza is better built and taller than most players at his position, and this has allowed him to carve up defenses better and take hits even from bigger players.

Another player who emerged last season was 6-foot-5 forward-center Claude Cubo. Cubo was among the league leaders in rebounds and shot blocks and was a consistent interior presence for EAC. Cubo is lean but he is also long, tall and deceptively strong. He can grab rebounds away from beefier players by finding the seams in the box out. He blocks shots with superb timing and tries to keep the ball in play. He also gets opportunistic baskets off the offensive glass.

These two are coming back in Season 86. Joining them are other valuable returnees: 6-foot-4 forward Russell and 6-foot-2 small forward Lowell Yaya, and 6-foot-3 power forward Dan Diolanto. All three players alternate at the 3/4/5 and give Coach Isla more options in his frontline match-ups against the taller NCAA teams. Each can play two or three positions.

Hopefully 6-foot-2 swingman Ferdinand Aquino will finally be able to join the NCAA roster. Aquino will bring a new toughness and offensive dimension to the perimeter if he does join the team. 6-foot-6 Jeff Lapitan, another longtime reserve, played well enough in the summer tournaments to merit serious consideration for the NCAA roster. Lapitan will help bolster the frontline and bring in added toughness, rebounding and post defense. Former UST swingman might also be joining the NCAA roster. Vargas, a 6-foot combo-guard, can help advance the ball against pressure and also look for his own shot.

There does not seem to be much going on with the high school team of EAC, as the Junior Generals are still awaiting other recruits as of press time. Suffice it to say any improvement from last season would be welcome.

BedanRoar
07-07-2010, 06:10 PM
EAC’s ‘Prodigal Son’ inspires Generals to first victory
by Anton Roxas
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 526 Views | 5 Comments MILAN Vargas scored 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and 3 assists. He was also named best player of the game and more importantly, led his team to their first win of the season.

Now, his schoolmates can truly say, “Welcome home.”

The Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals defeated the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 76-71 last Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at the Arena in San Juan City. It was EAC’s first victory after losing their first three games in the 86th season of the NCAA.

“The game is the game of the generals. The two week break was a blessing and it brought the team together. Milan Vargas gave us the needed lift. We knew we were prepared to defend against the key players of CSB. I’m optimistic that we can play better next time,” said EAC Head Coach Nomar Isla.

In the first half, the Yaya brothers led the Generals charge, combining for 14 first half points. Lowell, the elder Yaya brother, dropped two three point bombs while Russel scored 6 points. EAC had a 25-16 lead with under two minutes remaining before the halftime break.

The Blazers would take the lead momentarily after rookie hotshot Carlo Lastimosa knocked down a three point basket from the right wing to put his team up, 33-31. But, Milan Vargas quickly responded by hitting a three pointer of his own to give the lead back to the Generals, 34-33.

EAC’s lead would grow back to nine and they would close out the third period with a commanding ten-point advantage after a Jay Santos left corner triple at the buzzer.

In the final period, Vargas, who transferred to the University of Sto. Tomas and played one season with the Tigers in the UAAP, earned back the respect of the fellow schoolmates he left by extinguishing a 6-0 CSB run, scoring on an offensive rebound to put the Generals up 60-54. From there, EAC pulled away for good and it was too late for the Blazers to make a comeback.

With the victory, EAC is now holds a 1-3 win-loss card while CSB fell to 1-2.

The scores:

EAC 76 – Vargas 17, Cubo 12, Mendoza 11, Yaya L. 8, Yaya R. 7, Santos 6, Tuazon 6, Chiong 4, Lapitan 3, Jamon 2, Diolanto 0.

CSB 71 – de Guzman 14, Lastimosa 13, McCoy 13, Mañalac 8, dela Paz 8, Sinco 7, Tan 4, Argamino 2, Wong 2, Abolucion 0, Nayve 0, Melocoton 0.

Quarter scoring: 12-9, 27-22, 56-46, 76-71.