UAAP S77 Preview: De La Salle Green Archers
Season 76 record: 10-4 (2nd)
Season 76 recap:
La Salle famously changed coaches two weeks before the season started, with Juno Sauler replacing Gee Abanilla on short notice. It took the Green Archers a while to adjust, notching a 3-4 record in the first round. But they swept the second round of the tournament, entered the Final Four as the second seed, and then outlasted the UST Growling Tigers in a classic three-game series to win their first UAAP championship since Season 70.
Losses: LA Revilla, Luigi dela Paz, Gab Reyes, Jarelan Tampus
Holdovers: Jeron Teng, Almond Vosotros, Jason Perkins, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, Thomas Torres, Kib Montalbo, Matt Salem, Robert Bolick
Acquisitions: Yutien Andrada, Julian Sargent, Terrence Mustre, Abu Tratter, Prince Rivero
Season 77 Projection:
The Green Archers are the favorites in the coming season, as they return with a nearly intact line-up, boosted by some talented recruits, as well as the returning Yutien Andrada, who is back in the team after suffering injuries in the previous seasons.
Although they initially struggled in the first few weeks with Juno Sauler as head coach, the Green Archers have since adjusted well and have won three titles with Sauler in charge – the UAAP championship, the PCCL, and the FilOil titles.
The Green Archers are tempering expectations, however, with point guard Almond Vosotros insisting that the team’s modest goal is only to make the Final Four and see where they go from there. Other players, including Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng, admit that pressure on them has increased since winning the UAAP championship, but are confident that they can handle it.
La Salle should be the team to beat entering the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament, with players like Teng, Perkins and Van Opstal improving even further, and the team as a whole running Sauler’s system to the letter.
Quote: “Siyempre may pressure, kasi out of all the teams, ‘yung defending champion ‘yung tinitingnan ng others teams, ‘yun ‘yung team to beat eh. So feel naming, we’re the team to beat just because we’re the defending champions, not because of the strength, but because we’re last year’s champions. So kami ‘yung target nila.” – La Salle forward Jeron Teng