By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s new coach Jeffrey Cariaso gave his team a passing mark after the Kings rolled to an 89-71 victory over Globalport last Tuesday to open their campaign in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup.
Cariaso was pleased with how his team ran the intricate “triangle offense” which he learned from Tim Cone during his playing days with Alaska and later as his assistant for three seasons with San Mig Super Coffee.
“I’m really just happy that the guys came out and really, really did their best in running the triangle. I can’t complain,” said Cariaso.
Judging from their performance, the players appear to welcome Cariaso’s innovation, particularly 7-foot rookie center Greg Slaughter who quickly adopted to the system.
Cariaso was impressed with Slaughter’s performance saying the former Ateneo star is a perfect fit for the “triangle”.
“He’s the perfect ‘triangle’ big man,” said Cariaso. “He can do a lot of things. He can post up, he’s big, he’s a big target… he’s our anchor. Throw the ball to him and that allows us to run our other options.”
“To have a dominant big guy that can really perform, it really helps out the other players to perform,” said Cariaso.
The player who has been pleased with the change is Mark Caguioa, who after Ginebra’s early exit in the Commissioner’s Cup blasted his teammates for their lackluster effort.
“Everyone wants to buy in, everyone needs to buy in. In the past we had that tendency na kanya-kanya. This one fits us, the big guys they’re getting easy shots and the guards are getting easy shots too,” said Caguioa.
“This system… the ball would find you, instead of you looking for the ball all the time. Go to your spot, run the play, and then everything is fluid from there. So far so good,” added Caguioa.
Slaughter too is optimistic that they can be successful with the “triangle,” saying: “As time goes on we’ll get better and better. This system brings out the best of every one, the spacing gives equal opportunity for everyone.”
Cariaso, however, said there’s still more room for improvement.
“We haven’t really touched on what I think we can really become. I stressed chemistry and defense. It’s hard to say where we are, but we’re lucky to be at 60, 65, 70… lots of hard work,” said Cariaso, who took charge following Ginebra’s confusing coaching scenario that saw then-assistant Juno Sauler taking an active role instead of head mentor Ato Agustin.
“We’ve always said when we run the triangle, next week we’ll be better from this week. A month from now we’ll be better. There’s no time frame, as long as guys keep learning we’ll be better,” he added.