New Imus Bandera-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC (2-3) head coach Mac Cuan got a huge boost from his team’s newfound chemistry as the team finally snapped a 3-game losing skid in the 2019-2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup season with a decisive 82-70 victory over the Soccsksargen Marlins on Saturday.
Taking over the head coaching job at the start of the week, Cuan unlocked the potential of the entire team, harnessing their invididual talents and putting everything together into a cohesive whole.
“I just tried to correct some bad habits that I have observed in the last four games. And basically, I told them to share the ball, kasi napansin ko mas maraming dribble. And I told them to keep the game fast,” said Cuan.
The Imus-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC scored a season-high bench 39 points, with James Martinez registering 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jojo Cunanan played his best game of the early regular season, finishing in double-digits with 10 points on an efficient 4/5 field goal clip. Jerick Nacpil added 9 markers.
“When I see them doing something before, parang they just do it for the sake of doing it. Walang purpose yung ginagawa nila. I just addressed that so that lumabas yung mga natural and individual talent nila,” said Cuan.
“Malalim yung line-up eh. I am just taking advantage kung ano yung mga piyesa na mayroon ako. And with us playing fast, it makes us rotate faster. So nagagamit ko sila and nabibigyan ko sila ng opportunity makapaglaro.”
Chad Alonzo, who started at center, had a big double-double performance consisting of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jayjay Helterbrand’s 14-point, 7-assist outing also paced the Imus side, enabling them to get their 1st “home” win.
“Lumabas din talaga yung laro namin. Sa practice, yung effort, binibigay namin. At the end of the game, team effort talaga,” said Alonzo. “Lahat ng off the bench, napag-usapan namin sa practice na kailangan namin ng support.”
“I like the energy we had especially in the second half. The bench came in and brought in a lot of energy pressuring the ball and causing a lot of havoc to help us get easy shots,” said Helterbrand.
“I think coach Mac really did a good job of the substitutions, matching everyone’s time, and as you can see, everyone has to be ready. Everyone can play major minutes and contribute.”
Cunanan, who has played under Cuan previously for the Mandaluyong El Tigre, said playing within Cuan’s system translate to a positive outcome for players.
“Kapag kay coach Mac, lumalabas talaga yung kumpiyansa ng player. Laruin mo lang yung laro mo sa kanya, lalabas talaga ang laro mo. Sumunod ka lang sa sistema niya, yun ang gusto ni coach Mac,” said Cunanan.
With the win, Imus improved to 2-3 in the Southern Division. They will next play the Paranaque Patriots-F2 Logistics on Tuesday, July 30 at the Olivarez Gymnasium.
As proof, the team also had 21 fastbreak points and 28 assists, both season-highs, showing better teamwork on the floor.
The win enabled Imus to improve to 2 wins and 3 losses in the South Division of the Lakan Cup season. They will next play the Paranaque Patriots-F2 Logisitcs on Tuesday, July 30 at the Olivarez Gymnasium.