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PBA: Cariaso makes debut

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:45 p.m. – Air21 vs Rain or Shine
8 p.m. – Globalport vs Ginebra

Manila, Philippines – Jeffrey Cariaso will be put onto the microscope when he makes his Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coaching debut against Globalport today in the resumption of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After three seasons as an assistant coach for Tim Cone at San Mig Super Coffee, Cariaso will now set his sights on regaining the winning ways of the crowd-favorite Kings beginning with tonight’s 8 p.m. showdown with the Batang Pier.

Clashing in the first game at 5:45 p.m. are Air21 and Rain or Shine, the two teams that lost in the semifinals of the recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup.

There’s a curiosity as to whether Cariaso has made strides in transforming Ginebra from a chaotic team during the Commissioner’s Cup into a harmonious squad for the season-ending conference.

Ginebra was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the previous conference where the squad experimented with letting then-assistant Juno Sauler taking an active role from Cariaso’s predecessor Ato Agustin.

The saga coupled with a string of defeats forced Mark Caguioa to lambast his teammates on Twitter, saying the Kings have lost the never-say-die spirit that was known during the days of the iconic playing coach Robert Jaworski.

Cariaso’s first goal is to make Ginebra succeed through the Triangle Offense which he learned from Cone at San Mig and during his days as a player for Alaska in the mid-90’s.

The former PBA star has recently said that the “Triangle” will bode well for his star-studded team also composed of LA Tenorio, Mac Baracael, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Ellis and rookie Greg Slaughter.

“One thing about the triangle offense is you always learn something new. Even with San Mig, it’s not perfect yet. The basics are there, but as I’ve said it has many options, so many things to do,” said Cariaso.

“But so far so good. I like the way the guys are working. Everything is still new to players, but they’re excited to learn, they’re excited to play again. What I see in them is a team that will play hard.”