By Waylon Galvez
San Sebastian College-Recoletos hotshot Allyn Bulanadi knows that he’ll be a ‘marked man’ in the stepladder against Letran, that’s why he is readying himself for a tough battle with the Knights in the NCAA Season 95 playoffs on Nov. 5 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Bulanadi fired a career-best 44 points to help the Stags clinch No. 4 spot in the semifinals with a 99-94 win against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA during the final day of eliminations last Friday.
“Dapat handa lang palagi sa depensa ng kalaban,” said Bulanadi, a solid contender for MVP honors.
“Lalo ito playoffs na, mas dapat double yung effort, hardwork. Kasi ang goal naman namin is to make the finals.”
SSC-R takes on No. 3 Letran in a do-or-die encounter in the first stage of the stepladder playoffs.
The winner will advance in the second stage opposite Lyceum of the Philippines University – the No. 2 seed – on Nov. 8 at the same venue. The winner moves to the finals series.
Defending three-time champion San Beda University clinched an automatic championship berth with an 18-0 sweep of the elimination round, which matched LPU’s feat in 2017.
Game 1 of the finals is set Nov. 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Often compared to PBA legend Allan Caidic, the lefty Bulanadi buried seven three-pointers as he shot 14-of-26 from the field. He is averaging 20.3 points on 42 percent field goal shooting per game this season with five rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals.
San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya said that since this is Bulanadi’s fifth and final year with the Stags, this playoffs also means the time for him to showcase his all-around skills to prove he is ready for the big league – the PBA.
“Allyn is ready for the big league. He proved already many times this season na kaya niya maglaro big time. He’s reedy to play in the big league – in any (pro) league,” said Macaraya.
While the Stags mentor needs another solid performance from the 6-foot-1 Bulanadi, he understands that other players have to contribute too for them to advance against LPU.
“Team effort of course, hindi lang isang player. Kailangan tulong tulong,” said Macaraya, who will also rely on point guard RK Ilagan, forward Alvin Capobres and center John Michael Calma.
Tags: Allyn Bulanadi, Egay Macaraya, Knights, Letran, Lyceum of the Philippines University, NCAA, NCAA S95, NCAA S95 men's basketball, NCAA season 95, NCAA Season 95 men's basketball, Pirates, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Stags