NCAA: With Final 4 in sight, San Sebastian's Ilagan and Bulanadi brush off exhaustion

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2019 05:34 PM

NCAA: With Final 4 in sight, San Sebastian's Ilagan and Bulanadi brush off exhaustion 1
RK Ilagan of San Sebastian (seen in this file photo) attempts a jump shot. ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi have carried the load for San Sebastian College in NCAA Season 95, and the veterans are feeling the exhaustion creep up on them as the tournament winds down.

Ilagan admitted as much on Tuesday, after he and Bulanadi combined for 39 points in a hard-earned 85-82 triumph over Arellano University. The sweet-shooting guard scored 8 of his 20 points in the final quarter, helping quell the Chiefs' uprising.

"'Yun nga, pagod na kami kasi simula bakasyon, ang dami naming liga," admitted Ilagan, who also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the win.

But Ilagan said he and Bulanadi cannot afford to dwell on the fatigue that they are feeling. The Stags have just one more game in the elimination round -- a date against University of Perpetual Help on Friday.

They need to win that game in order to clinch the fourth and last spot in the semifinals, and avoid any complications.

"Kailangan lang namin talaga i-push 'yung sarili namin," said Ilagan. "Huwag naming isipin 'yung pagod kasi kaunti na lang naman, makakapasok na kami sa Final 4."

"Talagang tiyaga lang talaga," he stressed.

San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya has lamented how Ilagan and Bulanadi's supporting cast have failed to help them, and an injury suffered by Alvin Capobres does not help the Stags' cause.

"They are so tired, kasi hindi nagi-step up 'yung mga back-up nila. But still, the willingness and the heart na gustong manalo, I still could rely on my veterans," said Macaraya.

Ilagan, for his part, said he and Bulanadi are ready to keep leading the Golden Stags -- a task that starts in practice.

"Kailangan, kung ano nakikita nila sa amin, kailangan 'yun 'yung gagawin nila sa practice namin, para madala namin sa game," he said.

The Golden Stags improved to 10-7 with their win over Arellano, assuring them of at least a playoff for a spot in the Final 4. Mapua University is the only other team in contention, with a 9-8 win-loss slate.

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