Trojan cagers look to challenge for league title


Senior Anthony Reyes shoots a free throw in the 60-37 win over King City In the second round of the Jose Solis/Vantory Miles Invitational on December 3, 2021.

As the House of Thrills reopens, a new chapter for Alisal basketball begins. 

The team started the pre-season strong, winning the Solis-Miles Tournament. The tournament honors the lives of two prior Alisal basketball players who tragically lost their lives. 

Through eight games, the Trojans are 6-2. Gil said he has put an emphasis on defense. “We have length and we’re active in the lane.” He added that the defense needs to be the constant because the offense can be inconsistent.

Gil said the goal for the team during preseason is to build comradery, some chemistry that can help for their long term goal; winning a league title and qualifying for the CCS Playoffs. While the squad has a lot of youth, he feels they have a good mix.

 A large part of building chemistry is playing his full roster.  Playing 13-14 players keeps his players on their toes on the sidelines, and in the court, never knowing if they’re going to be subbed in or out. “It’s important to push your teammates as well, being on the same page and ensuring we pick up our teammates as opposed to putting them down after mistakes,” junior Robert Mendoza said.

With a total of 16 preseason games, the Trojans will have plenty of time to establish who they are to the rest of their competitors. Senior Anthony Reyes agrees, “This season I’m looking forward to making a statement for our team and the city of Salinas.” 

For league, they have a rather competitivite schedule, going up against opponents such as Salinas, Palma and Monterey. Gil feels Monterey and Palma will both be tough. “Palma is a senior heavy team and they’re loaded. They have a good big man and a guard who have a lot of experience.” 

Gil is looking to get his own big man, Cristian Soto, back in time for the North Salinas Tournament on December 28th. Soto is currently recovering from a broken collarbone he suffered in football. “He has speed, aggressiveness, and athleticism,” Gil said.

The Trojans will open league play on January 7, 2022, at Salinas High.