‘We will become winners’: Cabiltes lays NCAA roadmap for EAC

Levi Joshua Verora Jr.

Posted at Feb 01 2023 08:53 PM

Coach Jerson Cabiltes. Chooks-to-Go MPBL
Coach Jerson Cabiltes. Chooks-to-Go MPBL

Newly-installed Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) head coach Jerson Cabiltes hopes to turn the Generals into winners both on and off the court.

Laying the roadmap to NCAA Season 99 as early as last week, Cabiltes urged his Generals to adopt a winning culture that will also transcend the hardcourt while working on transforming themselves into a contender.

“Sinabihan ko sila how to be successful in the program. It goes along with the hard work. ‘Yun ang pinag-usapan namin – the attitude (and) the winning. In this program, we will become winners,” Cabiltes said.

“It goes along with sacrifice, hard work, and winning outside the court. Hindi naman puwedeng dito lang tayo magaling. Sa ginawa natin, sa basketball, sa studies, you need to do good.”

One of the winningest basketball mentors outside of the PBA, Cabiltes said he is ready to take on the challenge of turning a cellar-dwelling team into a formidable group.

“It’s a new challenge that we are going to take on. We are excited to handle EAC because of the challenge that goes along with it,” he shared.

“To be part of the longest league sa Pilipinas, to be part of coaching young guys to be mature enough, to go to the pros, guide them toward their dreams, definitely, it’s a big honor to be part of the NCAA community.”

The architect of Nueva Ecija’s dominant 2022 MPBL campaign, Cabiltes steered the Rice Vanguards to a 21-0 sweep of the elimination round record before the team won the crown against Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines.

Cabiltes will be bringing to the NCAA his impressive coaching resume which includes PBA D-League, Filbasket, MPBL, and VisMin Super Cup titles.

“I hope I can help them reach their goals and ma-reach namin ang goal to reach the Final Four. The challenge is to make it to the top of the NCAA,” he added.

“We are tired of losing, we are in last place for a number of years, so I challenged the players to be part of history. ‘Yan ang binanggit ko sa mga beterano ko. Kailangan pag-trabahuhan ‘yan.”

The Generals finished with a league-worst 3-15 record in Season 98, missing the Final Four for the 13th consecutive time. The Paco-based school has not made the playoffs since joining the NCAA back in 2009.

Foundation-wise, Cabiltes seeks to install a defense-oriented and grind-it-out system, which he mentioned the squad should be working on via pocket tournaments prior to Season 99.

“More of mas error-prone sila decision-making wise, so we’re trying to be more mature. We will try to gain more experience by joining pocket leagues before the (NCAA) opening,” he said.

“Ang focus namin is individually, we want to be better, and as a team, we want to be better. Standing natin last season was kulelat tayo. We’re looking toward the Final Four and pinag-usapan namin how we are going to achieve that. Hindi puwedeng puro salita lang.”

So far, the signs have been encouraging for the Generals. Former University of the East (UE) Red Warrior Harvey Pagsanjan has completed his transfer to provide more leadership and experience to the team.

The school also struck a partnership with the Rice Vanguards through their team owner Bong Cuevas to shoulder team expenses.

With key holdovers like Ralph Robin and John Paul Maguliano staying and interesting developments happening left and right, Cabiltes hopes returns would be felt sooner rather than later.

“We’ll work on what we have and sana magtulungan rin ang team. We need to improve on a lot of things because I am going to introduce my system to them. Kailangan mag-adapt rin sila sa style of play, so we’ll work on that.”


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