Ginebra Import Zaccheus Mason is James Mays’ smaller version, says coach Jeffrey Cariaso

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Barangay Ginebra is highly praising that the injection of new coach Jeffrey Cariaso in their system would finally bring them back to their glory days.

But the Gin Kings also know that winning a championship instantly won’t be easy and they are only taking one step at a time starting in the 2014 PBA Governor’s Cup.

Cariaso is only two weeks since assuming as the new top tactician of the team and preached patience as his players adapt to the triangle offense that has yielded so much success for coach Tim Cone both with San Mig and former team Alaska.

Cariaso is a living witness of how the triangle offense can bear fruits, having won seven PBA championships as a vital player of the Alaska Aces during his playing years under Cone, now the all-time winning coach in league history.

The 41-year-old Ginebra rookie coach also won four more PBA titles as one of the American mentor’s assistant coaches with San Mig Super Coffee till last week.

However, the rookie coach knew that the success of the triangle won’t happen over night and warned fans who have grown impatient after watching the talent-laden Kings come up short in the playoffs in the first two conferences of this season.

“I’m really happy with their effort (in practice). I told them our triangle won’t really feel good, and at times it won’t look good,” said Cariaso.

Cariaso got a fitting sendoff at San Mig on Thursday after the Mixers earned a three-peat via a pulsating 3-1 Commissioner’s Cup Finals series win over Talk ‘N Text.

“But I told them to just stay with it (triangle), be patient with it because once they get more familiar, it will be more comfortable,” he added.

Cariaso added that the team is blessed to have Zaccheus Mason for the Governors Cup.

He even described the fresh-from-college import as an energy player and somewhat like a smaller version of James Mays, San Mig’s import in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.

“A little bit (like Mays), super sipag. He’s still getting his legs under him. He’s not yet there (in game shape), obviously because it’s just his first week, he’s unfamiliar with the style (of play) in Manila,” he added.

Despite being out of shape since arriving just several days ago, Mason showed a good glimpse of what he can do for the Gin Kings  after scoring 22 points and adding two blocks in the team’s 83-89 loss to sister team San Miguel Beer in their tune-up match last Thursday.

“His a high-energy guy, a guy who’ll be everywhere. His activity level is very high. A guy who won’t demand the ball but when we need him, he can,” said Cariaso in describing the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga standout.

Cariaso will have his hand’s full as Ginebra’s coach when he debut this Tuesday when the the league’s most popular team go up against last conference’s cellar-dweller GlobalPort Batang Pier.

— with reports from

Ed Umbao

Founder of | co-Founder of

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