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Ty Tang, CSB coach, thankful to former mentors

COLLEGE of St. Benilde is currently tied for the lead with defending three-time champion San Beda in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and coach TY Tang attributed the team’s early success to the team’s hard play, determination and his own coaching philosophy.

“Not at all,” Tang said when asked if he’s surprised with the way his boys are playing these days.

TY TANG

TY Tang

CSB streaked to its fifth straight win following an 82-77 win over Arellano University on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.

Clement Leutcheu led the Blazers with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Justin Gutang – in his first game back after missing the last two due to knee injury – added 12 points, seven boards, five assists and two steals.

His coaching philosophy has the touch of “old and new”.

Following a stellar pro career in the PBA with Rain or Shine, Tang turned to coaching as he took over St. Benilde – a sister school of his alma mater De La Salle University – in 2017.

Tang said he’s trying to create his own coaching identity though he’s has picked valuable lessons and styles from his previous coaches, particularly from former Green Archers mentor Franz Pumaren and onetime ROS coach and current Gilas Pilipinas chief Yeng Guiao.

“I can’t really say where I’m leaning towards in terms of my philosophy as a coach but definitely all my coaches have influenced me in a way or the other in this game,” said Tang.

“I would say I’m confidently having my own identity as a coach as I continue to learn and grow every single day. Just keeping it open but also assertive when I have to,” he added.

In their first season under Tang, the Blazers finished the tournament with a 4-14 record. The following year, the team missed a playoff game for the last Final Four berth as it finished with a 10-8 card, half a game behind University of Perpetual Help’s 11-7 slate.

This time, and even this early in the season, league observers are already favoring CSB a playoff team, and Tang agrees with that opinion.

“It’s really our goal to be able to compete at the highest level,” said Tang.

“I’m happy that after all the years we’ve been working on the team physically, emotionally and mentally, we have all come to believe that we are capable of winning games,” he added.

Prior to their match against the Chiefs, the Blazers had four of their games called off due to bad weather.

While it gave CSB players extra time to rest and recover, the postponed matches will be played in the next three weeks. Interestingly, these are against top caliber opponents – the Lyceum Pirates this Friday, the Red Lions on Aug. 23, the Letran Knights on Aug. 27 and the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers on Aug. 30 all at The Arena.

“It helped us in terms of recovering from bit of aches and pains from some of the players but I feel it also kind of held back our momentum. But winning (against Arellano) erased that thought,” said Tang.

“Now we have to remain focused at the task and take it a game at a time. Lock in the next few days and games and we’ll see how it goes,” added Tang. (WAYLON GALVEZ)

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