Coach Juno will smile if we win title, say Archers
MANILA, Philippines – What will it take to get La Salle coach Juno Sauler to smile?
In his very first year as head coach of De La Salle, Sauler has become famous for his poker face, as he remains calm and collected even as the Green Archers reeled off nine consecutive victories and marched to the finals of the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tournament.
Sauler has also repeatedly told media that he is not yet satisfied with his team’s performance and wants to see continued improvement from the Green Archers.
According to La Salle players Jeron Teng and Arnold Van Opstal, they expect their coach to crack a smile if the Green Archers win their best-of-three Finals series against the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
“Pag nag-champion kami, tatawa na siya,” said Teng in a press conference Monday. “Abangan niyo pag nag-champion kami, tatawa ‘yun.”
Van Opstal later agreed, saying, “For sure, he’ll smile.”
Both players also stressed that even though Sauler presents a poker face to the basketball viewing public, their coach does show emotion, especially during practices.
“Tumatawa naman siya,” said Teng. “Nagagalit din siya sa amin, naninigaw din siya. Pero sobrang composed si Coach Juno. Hindi siya nara-rattle.”
“He’s really a nice guy. I guess if it’s front of the media, he’s like that, it’s his persona. That’s his character,” said Van Opstal. “But he’s actually a really nice guy.”
“He’s calm and composed, he’s consistent, but he makes joke,” Van Opstal added. “He jokes around and he’s a funny guy.”
Sauler took over the De La Salle head coaching job with just two weeks to go before the start of the season. After a 3-4 record at the end of the elimination round, the Green Archers have won nine straight with Sauler at the helm, and are two wins away from their first UAAP crown since Season 70.
Game 1 of the UAAP Season 76 Finals is on Wednesday, October 2 at the Araneta Coliseum.