DLSU Judokas miss podium, settle for fourth in UAAP Season 81 Judo

Written by: Trinity Matias and Jennifer Serrano

Day 1

The De La Salle University Green and Lady Judokas came prepared as they fought with pride and glory in their very own nest as the UAAP Season 81 Judo Meet was held in the 9th floor of Enrique Razon Sports Complex, last December 8 and 9.

For the first day of the competition, the men and women in green and white clinched 4 medals: 1 gold, 2 silvers and 1 bronze.

Green Judoka Ezra Malanos reached the finals of the -81kg category in the men’s division where he was up against Ateneo’s Henry Marguiles. In the end, Malanos secured a silver medal finish as Marguiles finished the match with an ippon. Meanwhile, in the -100kg category, two-time Half Heavyweight Champion Keith Reyes clashed against University of Santo Tomas’ George Kim in the battle for gold. Reyes fought hard to defend his crown, yet unfortunately, Kim pulled through and won the first place finish. Other Green Judokas who also battled on the first day of the meet were Lester De Guzman for the +100kg and Franco Maloles for the -90kg category.

For the Women’s Division, Lady Judoka Charmea Quelino won DLSU’s first gold medal in the competition. Quelino outlasted Almira Ruiz from UST in the finale of -57kg category. Clinching another medal for the Green and White was Lady Judoka Carmila Cadorna who won bronze in the -48kg category. Competing also for DLSU was Lady Judoka Maria Mikayla Yambao in the -52kg category.

Day 2

As the second day of the UAAP Judo Meet for Season 81 commenced on December 9, the eagerness and determination for a spot in the podium intensified for all teams, especially the DLSU Judokas.

The Lady Judokas battled their way into the grueling showdowns and pair-ups as Mary Tyler Brillo made her way to earn DLSU a bronze medal for the -78kg division alongside Khrisha Rotario UST. This adds to the achievements won by Camille Cadorna and Charmea Quelino from the first day, making the Lady Judokas earn 3 medals overall.

As for the Green Judokas, the event for the -55kg division ended with David Alexander Gordon placing first runner-up earning a silver medal as University of the Philippines’ Sean Panganiban bagged gold after the intense battle. For the -66kg division, on the other hand, DLSU’s very own Adrian Josef Perillo received a bronze medal as he shared the podium with Jeunesse Ong from UST. All in all, the Green Judokas were able to bag 4 medals for the tournament.

Overall, the DLSU Judokas garnered seven medals: 1 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze making them clinch the third runners-up for both the men’s and women’s division. With their achievements and determination, this served as a humbling experience as well as a reason for them to work harder than ever for the next season.

ICYMI: Green Archers give up 3rd spot to the UP Fighting Maroons

Written by: Maggie Mariano 

It was a tough game for the De La Salle University Green Archers as they suffered a crucial loss against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 97-81, yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena. A remarkable feat for the Diliman team, the win granted them a spot in the Final Four for the first time since 1997.

The two teams showed an aggressive effort with counter-attacks after each basket, the close game did not show any sign of backing down. The Green Archers started off with a fiery streak from Aljun Melecio, who was able to lead the team to a 22-17 lead towards the end of the first quarter.

However, the Fighting Maroons sped up the pace and things took a turn for the DLSU players. The Gomez De Liano brothers powered through and delivered 19 points from Juan and 8 points from Javi, building up a 41-25 lead in the second quarter. Proving to be a key player, Juan Gomez De Liano contributed continuous three-pointers alongside Bright Akhuetie. By then, it was clear that DLSU was struggling; with 11 turnovers by the end of the second quarter, the Taft-squad had given away 16 points through unforced errors.

In the second half, UP’s explosive performance did not disappoint. Despite efforts from La Salle players Justine Baltazar, Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut to tighten the 20-point gap, the lead UP had put on in the first half proved difficult to the Green Archers. The third quarter, ending at 75-54, had the Archers grappling with the hopes of coming close to the UP team.

The fire in the Gomez De Liano brothers seemed to be far from dying down, delivering three-pointers one after the other. The determination to end the 21-year playoff drought brought exceptional results, as the game closed at a staggering 16-point lead, 97-81. UP now stands at 8-6, the team’s best record since their last appearance at the Final Four.

Justine Baltazar capped off the game with 22 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Aljun Melecio scored 19 points, six assists and three rebounds. Had DLSU won the game, the No. 3 spot would have been secured by the Archers, as their fate will now be dependent on the match between the AdU Soaring Falcons and the FEU Tamaraws on Sunday, November 18. A win by FEU will require a face off with La Salle to determine a spot in the final four; meanwhile, a win by Adamson will automatically grant the Archers the fourth seed.

DLSU Green Tankers bag second, Lady Tankers finish third in UAAP Season 81 Swimming

Written by Jennifer Serrano and Trinity Matias 

The De La Salle University Green and Lady Tankers put on a show in the UAAP Season 81 Swimming Meet last November 8-11 at the Rizal Memorial Complex. The men’s team posted a second-place finish, while the women’s team clinched third place.

Day 1 – The Start of UAAP Season 81 Swimming Meet

Last November 8 marked the beginning of the UAAP Swimming meet as athletes from De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas went head to head at the Rizal Memorial Complex.

The first event of the day was the 200-meter medley. The Green Tankers placed first with the time of 1 minute and 48.87 seconds behind Gamaliel Torres, Jose Bautista, Leon Silvestre and Juan Miguel Narciso for the men’s division. Following the Green Tankers by only a few seconds were the Blue Eagles that came second and the UST Tigers that came third. As for the women’s division, the Lady Tankers were able to place third with the time of 2 minutes and 9.24 seconds which was done by Maggie Mendoza, Nichole Evangelista, Ace Agustin, and Dara Evangelista. Respectively, ADMU placed second with a couple of seconds earlier than the Lady Tankers as UST placed first.

The next event was the 100-meter freestyle with Ateneo’s Jessie Lacuna placing first by milliseconds as DLSU’s Sacho Ilustre placing second with a time of 52.57 seconds for the men’s division followed by Miguel Barlisan who is also from ADMU. For the women’s division, two of Ateneo’s swimmers placed first and second respectively as DLSU’s Dara Evangelista placing third with a time of 1 minute and 1.76 seconds.

With that event finished came the 200-meter individual medley with Sacho Ilustre placing third with the time of 2 minutes and 13.69 seconds for the senior men’s division as Aldo Batungbacal and Ianiko Limfilipino of ADMU placed first and second.

The last event to mark the end of the day was the 800-meter freestyle relay with the Green Tankers placing first for the senior’s division with the time of 8 minutes and 14.02 seconds done by Alnair Guevarra, Jose Mari Ereneta, Fahad Alkhaldi, and Rochmond Santos as UP came second and UST came third.

At the end of the day, the official standings of Day 1 showed that the Green Tankers had a total of 76 points making them second place behind the Blue Eagles. As for the Lady Tankers, they tallied a total of 30 points placing them last for the senior’s division.

Day 2 – DLSU Tankers Rising To The Challenge

The second day of UAAP Season 81 Swimming Meet began with the Green Tankers currently at second place and the Lady Tankers were eager and hungry to get a spot at the podium.

A record-breaking performance happened during the 50-meter breaststroke qualifiers as Jexter Chua of DLSU placed second breaking the previous record of 29.69 seconds held by Gian Carlo Silva from ADMU made back in 2015 with the time of 29.66 seconds. As for the title holder of the new record was DLSU’s Alfonso Bautista who defeated the record of his fellow teammate with a time of 29.62 seconds.

After the qualifiers, the finals division took place with the 400 meter freestyle kicking things off. Sacho Ilustre placed second with a time of 4 minutes and 12.97 seconds trailing from Jessie Lacuna representing ADMU who placed first but, swam ahead of Ianiko Limfilipino, also from Ateneo, for the men’s division. Afterwards, the 50 meter breaststroke took place with Jester Chua showing pride to be a Green Tanker placing first with a time of 29.90 seconds followed by his fellow teammate Alfonso Bautista with a time of 30.55 seconds and Alberto Batungabcal from ADMU.

The 100 meter butterfly happened after the 50 meter backstroke with Sacho Ilustre placing second with a time of 56.23 seconds trailing behind Ateneo’s Jessie Lacuna for the men’s seniors division. After, the 200 meter backstroke took place with Christian Sy placing third with a time of 2 minutes and 13.49 seconds as Akiva Carino and Gerard Reyes from ADMU placed first and second respectively.

Last but not the least, the 400 meter freestyle relay took place. The Green Tankers placed third with the time of 3 minutes and 39.91 seconds achieved by Leon Silvestre, Juan Miguel Narciso, Fahad Alkhaldi, and Jose Bautista trailing from ADMU and UP who took gold and silver for this event respectively.

The official standings after Day 2 of the Swimming meet had the Green Tankers at second place with 166 points. As for the Lady Tankers, they accumulated a total of 47 points making them last place.

Day 3

The DLSU Green and Lady Tankers made eight podium finishes on day 3.

The Finals of day 3 started with the Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle where Green Tanker Sacho Ilustre came head-to-head with Ateneo’s Jessie Khing Lacuna all throughout the 200M heat for the 1st place finish. Ilustre, however, still ended on a high note who got a silver medal with a record of 1:53.99, only 0.59 seconds behind Lacuna. Along with them in the podium was Christian Anor from University of Santo Tomas.

After the early triumph of Ilustre, it was followed by Green Tanker Ambrose Agustin’s victory who placed 3rd with the time of 1:08:01 for the 100 Meter Breaststroke Finals event. Aldo Batungbacal and Carlo Silva, both from Ateneo, finished 1st place and 2nd place respectively.

Representing DLSU for Men’s 50 Meter Butterfly Finals was Green Tanker Red Silvestre who finished with a time of 26.59, fast enough to receive a bronze medal. Leading this event with a gold medal finish was event record-holder Ateneo’s Jessie Lacuna, followed by Lans Donato from University of the Philippines.

Green Tanker Christian Sy bagged the gold medal for the green and white during the Men’s 100 Meter Backstroke Finals by giving a 1:00.61 performance outlasting UST’s Christian Anor and ADMU’s Getty Reyes, who came 2nd and 3rd respectively. While for the Women’s division, Lady Tanker Dara Clariza Evangelista was able to finish second with a time of 1:09.70. Finishing first was ADMU’s Courtney Gray and completing the top three was UP’s Angela Villamil.

DLSU was also able to obtain a bronze medal at the Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley Finals. Green Tanker Yuri Ilustre finished with a time of 4:48.35 who placed 3rd. While two swimmers from Ateneo, Aldo Batungbacal who placed 1st and Ianiko Limfilipino who placed 2nd, completes the top three fastest men for the said event.

Come to the last event of Day 3, the Green and Lady Tankers competed in the Men’s and Women’s 200 Meter Freestyle Relay Finals. The Green Tankers overpowered their competitors by placing 1st with a record-breaking time of 1:36:31. The men in green and white were able to break the previous UAAP record of 1:36.95 established by the Ateneo de Manila University back in 2016. The Green Tankers who are now the new record-holders are Jexter Chua, Alfonso Bautista, Red Silvestre, and Juan Miguel Narciso. Lady Tankers Mari So, Jana Laurian, Bettina Ting and Dara Evangelista also secured a slot at the podium by finishing with a time of 1:58:02 that led them in winning a bronze medal.

At the end of Day 3 of UAAP Season 81 Swimming Championships, The Green Tankers already acquired 264 points making them rank second in their division, while the Lady Tankers got 81 points that made them rank fourth in the Women’s division.

Day4

On the last day of the UAAP Season 81 Swimming Championships, the DLSU Green Tankers ended their campaign as they finished 2nd overall in the Men’s Division, while the Lady Tankers ended 3rd in the Women’s dIvision.

The DLSU Green Tankers started strong as they dominated the Men’s 50M Backstroke Finals. Coming in first place was Red Silvestre with the time of 27.88 seconds, behind him was Christian Sy with the time of 28.26 seconds and placing third was Jexter Chua clocking in with 28.46 seconds. Meanwhile, the DLSU Lady Tankers also reigned in the Women’s Division as Dara Clariza Evangelista finishes with the time of 32.00 seconds, copping the Gold Medal. Following her was her fellow teammate, Andriana Canlas with the time of 32.36 seconds and coming in for third place was Ateneo’s Andrea Ngui with the time of 32.37 seconds.

Green Tanker Yuri Ilustre represented the green and white in the podium as he finishes third place in the Men’s 200M Breaststroke Finals clocking in 2:28.00. Along with him was Ateneo’s Ianiko Limfilipino who finished second with the time of 2:24.62 and Aldo Batungbacal who finished first with the time of 2:21.75, breaking his own UAAP record.

As the Men’s 200M Butterfly Finals ended, Green Tanker Sacho Ilustre managed to cop the silver medal as he clocked in with 2:05.96. Andrae Pogiongko from the UPVST came third with the time of 2:12.77 while the Ateneo standout Jessie Lacuna finished first place with the record-breaking time of 2:02.69.

Dominating the 50M Freestyle was DLSU Green Tanker Red Silvestre who claimed the Gold medal with the time of 24.35 seconds. His fellow teammate Sacho Ilustre finished third, copping the bronze medal with the time of 24.60 seconds, just behind Ateneo’s Drei Buhain with the time of 24.58 seconds. On the other hand, for the Women’s Division, DLSU Lady Tanker Dara Clariza Evangelista added another silver medal for the green and white as she clocked in 28.35 seconds. Along with her in the podium was Andrea Ngui from ADMU who finished first with the time of 27.58 and Ariana Canaya from UP who finished third with the time of 28.43.

The 400M Medley Relay Finals was the last event of the UAAP Season 81 Swimming Championships where the DLSU Lady Tankers managed to claim a third-place finish with the time of 4:54.94. Representing DLSU were Maggie Mendoza, Nichole Evangelista, Erika Jaurigue and Dara Clariza Evangelista.

Come to the closing and awarding ceremony, our very own Sacho Ilustre was named as Season 81 Rookie of the Year for the Men’s Division. While for the Women’s Division was Ateneo de Manila University’s Dara Carreon. The Most Valuable Player of the Season for the Men’s and Women’s Division are both from Ateneo namely Jessie Khing Lacuna and Kirsten Chloe Daos, respectively.

UAAP Season 81 Preview : DLSU Green and Lady Tankers

Written by: Jennifer Serrano

Tomorrow marks the return of the DLSU Tankers as they dive into the action of UAAP Season 81.

With the last season leaving a strong message to the team, it became their motivation to work even harder and smarter than before.

The Lady tankers are hungry for a strong comeback as they placed third runners-up last season. Ace Agustin, the current captain of the DLSU Lady Tankers, evaluated the team’s performance last season and had a few things to say about what’s in store for Season 81.

“Though the team fell short of a podium finish last season, it didn’t define the effort that each girl gave. I do believe the team became much closer and bonded with one another. During the offseason, our training was more intense. We had a training camp where we focused on both intensity and form. We also have recruited some rookies and I trust that they are ready to help the team achieve our goals. The team is hungry for a win, and everyone placed in a lot of work leading up to our season“, Agustin said.

Working alongside her is co-captain Maggie Mendoza who explained how much sacrifices were made by the team and each and every person’s effort in preparing for this season.

“We sacrificed our time, put on effort and poured our hearts out to prepare ourselves. We set up our priorities straight for this journey in order give our best for the school, for the team and for ourselves. Sabi nga ng coach namin, ‘Matalo na kayo sa kahit anong araw. Pero sa November 8 to 11, angkinin niyo ito, dahil sa atin ito’, Mendoza said.

As for the Green Tankers, they have placed first runners-up last season being in the shadows of the Blue Eagles for three consecutive years. For this season with a nearly perfect lineup, they are the team to beat.

Leading the DLSU Green Tankers is Kyle Paggabao with co-captain Alnair Guevarra.

“The team strengthened even more over the offseason since we all have one goal for this year, and that is to get the title. It was more intense this year having a new conditioning coach which provides us the workouts we need,” Paggabao said.

Decorated Green Tanker Red Silvestre, had an interesting say about the new recruits and rookies of the team.

“We have a set of national caliber rookies who are hungry and motivated for this upcoming UAAP Season 81. With their presence in the pool, they have set the bar much higher than the last year. Their presence mixed with our veteran experience in the UAAP would help blend in a positive, competitive, and motivating environment in training and also in competition,“ Silvestre marveled.

Having one goal in mind strengthened the bond between the players, making them one family. Increasing the intensity of each workout and having no days off are some of the sacrifices they have made to reach for the goal, and that’s gold.

Support your DLSU Tankers on November 8 to 11 at the Rizal Memorial Complex as they compete for their way to victory!

Lady Tankers: Ace Agustin, Andy Canlas, Dara Evangelista, Nichole Evangelista, Jhianna Gonzales, Angelie Jalauig, Carla Jaurigue, Erika Jaurigue, Jana Laurian, Maggie Mendoza, Glycel So, Bettina Ting, Joanne Wang, Bea Ylen

Green Tankers: Ambrose Raymund Agustin, Fahad Alkhaldi, Alfonso Jose Bautista, Jexter Chua, Jose Mari Ereneta, Alnair Guevarra, Sacho Ilustre, Yuri Ilustre, Elijah Lizares, Matthew Marzan, Juan Miguel Narciso, Kyle Paggabao, Jomai Santos, Rochmond Santos, Leon Red Silvestre, Christian Sy, Gamaliel Torres

La Salle Big Men anchor Green Archers in crucial win over Tamaraws

(FILE PHOTO)

Big men Brandon Bates and Justin Baltazar made their presence felt in a huge 65-57 win for the De La Salle University Green Archers over the Tamaraws in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Saturday.

Bates was hailed as the best player of the game after tallying seven points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Numbers might not be that explosive for the 6’7 slot man, but the timing of his swats and offensive boards proved to be a vital cog for the Taft squad. The other half of the DLSU twin towers, Baltazar, tallied 15 points and six rebounds, while Santi Santillan added 12 and 14.

Arvin Tolentino, who came back from serving suspension, paced FEU with 20 points, four rebounds and two assists. He was the lone Tamaraw who barged into double digits in scoring with Parker and Stockton posting six markers apiece.

It looked like another slow start for the Green Archers in the first period. La Salle opened the quarter up 4-0, but the Tamaraws countered with an 8 to nothing blast. Both teams were sloppy,  shooting poorly from the field. Kib Montalbo then checked in and set the tone for La Salle immediately. The graduating senior took every opportunity to run and make plays for his teammates. The green side was more fluid, being anchored by their team captain as they regained the lead at the end of the first, 14-13.

In the second frame, neither of the squads went away with a comfortable lead. Baltazar and Tolentino stole the show as they scored 12 and 10 points respectively in the first half. The Tams built a 4-point cushion after Tolentino sank a triple with 2:28 left, but the Archers answered every attack thrown at them to tie the game, 34-all, at halftime.

The Morayta-based crew turned its defense a notch higher and began the third canto with an 11-1 run, five coming from Tolentino, to establish a 45-35 lead with 4:08 left in the quarter. The boys in green got their act together as they retaliated with a 13-2 rally to take the driver’s seat once again courtesy of the Bates, Baltazar and Santillan. Montalbo capped of the fightback with a hard drive to the basket to end the third, 48-47.

With momentum already on DLSU’s side, Coach Louie and his Archers never let go of their advantage and kept the Tamaraws at bay. Leading by six, 59-53, with 2:44 to play, La Salle wanted to deliver the final blow. Cue, Aljun Melecio! He did not care about his cold-shooting night. The shifty guard received a pass from Santillan and quickly went for a pull-up triple. That was the dagger as the Green and White eventually came away with the victory.

(FILE PHOTO)

DLSU improved to 6-4 and is currently in solo third place. FEU, on the other hand, suffered its fourth consecutive defeat, dropping down to the fifth spot with a 5-6 card.

The next game for the Green Archers is on November 3, Saturday, 2pm at Ynares Antipolo.

DLSU 65 – Baltazar 15, Santillan 12, Bates 7, Montalbo 7, Caracut 7, Melecio 7, Serrano 5, Dyke 5.

FEU 57 – Tolentino 20, Parker 6, Stockton 6, Inigo 5, Ramirez 5, Escoto 5, Cani 4, Ebona 3, Comboy 3.

Quarter scores: 14-13, 34-34, 48-47, 65-57

 

 

 

 

 

Kib Montalbo five years after getting his first ring: Now, it’s gonna be different

It has been five years since DLSU Green Archers captain Kib Montalbo won his first championship in the UAAP.

Now in his last playing year, Montalbo said things are in a seemingly untouched setting this time, especially with him being the most senior in the team. “Now, it’s gonna be different because I’m gonna be the leader of this team”, he said.

Montalbo posted eight points and four rebounds against Adamson, his second game after coming back from an injury.

The La Salle captain surprised everyone during the game against Ateneo when he played despite having a fractured thumb. “I just really want to play, that’s the bottom line. It’s my last year and I don’t want that my thumb injury will determine my season,” Montalbo explained last week.

A throwback

Montalbo recalled that five years ago, he was just doing everything he can despite being a rookie.

“First year, bangko ako eh. Pero my mentality was I want to win kahit bangko ako. I kept cheering on my teammates, pushing them kahit mas matanda sila sakin. Being their rookie, support them. Moral support,” he narrated.

Back then, it was a roller coaster ride for the Green Archers.

Then head coach Juno Sauler was named just weeks before the season started, replacing former head coach Gee Abanilla. The green-and-white ended the first round with a 3-4 record, but went on to sweep the second round to improve to 10-4. Two other teams, FEU Tamaraws and league leader NU Bulldogs also had the same record at the end of the eliminations, with the UST Growling Tigers completing the Final Four.

FEU and La Salle played a virtual best-of-three to determine who will enter the Finals. The Archers got the greener side of the pasture in two games, putting them in the Finals again after a five-year absence.

On the other side of the league, NU, with the twice-to-beat advantage, was defeated by the determined UST Growling Tigers.

It took DLSU three thrilling games against UST to bring home the crown back to Taft.

Fast forward to three years after, in 2016, after sitting out a year due to an ACL injury, the Man of Steal had become an integral part of the Archers’ system. “Third year, it’s fun ‘cause nagagamit na ako eh,” Montalbo recalled. DLSU, of course, was the most dominant team in the league that year, with Ben Mbala in the lineup. It was also Aldin Ayo’s first year as DLSU head coach.

Playing against rivals Ateneo, Montalbo chipped in nine points during the second game of the Finals, behind Jeron Teng’s 28 points and Mbala’s 18.

Fast forward to this season. Fresh off a win against the upstart Adamson Falcon, Montalbo and the Green Archers are looking ahead to a great closing performance to Season 81. With La Salle ending the first round at solo fourth with four wins and three losses, Montalbo said they’re taking things one game at a time. “We’ll see how it goes,” he ended.

Melecio puts on a show anew as Green Archers outlast Soaring Falcons in OT

After a disappointing loss at the hands of bitter rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles, the De La Salle Green Archers bounced back to close out the first round on a high note.

The Taft squad took down the league-leading Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 79-78, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the MOA Arena, Saturday.

DLSU once again leaned on the heroics of spitfire point guard Aljun Melecio who posted 22 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 35 minutes of play.

The frontcourt duo of Santi Santillan and Justin Baltazar also made an impact on both ends of the floor with the former adding 16 points and nine rebounds, while the latter chipped in a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards for La Salle.

La Salle came into the first quarter with guns blazing as they built a 20-11 lead late in the opening period. Adamson finally got its feet wet, rallying back to cut the deficit to 16 to end the first.

The Green Archers tightened up their defense in the second frame. They contained the Soaring Falcons to just 1/10 shooting from beyond the arc with over 6 minutes still to go in the quarter as they stretched the lead to 10.  However, Jerrick Ahanmisi put AdU on his back. The hot-shooting guard scored the last 10 points of the San Marcelino-based crew to trail by just one at halftime, 33-32.

It was a game of runs in the second half. Both teams refused to let go as they exchange rallies from one point to another. The Archers and the Falcons found themselves all knotted at 49 at the end of the third canto.

Adamson looked like it would finally pull away as Ahanmisi gave his team a 58-51 lead midway through the fourth period. La Salle, though, had other ideas in mind, countering with a run of their own capped off by a floater from Melecio to tie the game at 64 that eventually sent the game into overtime.

The boys in green showed their experience as they left AdU in the dust, 73-64 with 2:08 left. It was not all over for Coach Franz Pumaren and his wards. The Falcons still had a lot left in them with Sean Manganti drilling a long bomb to cap off another run by Adamson, cutting the DLSU edge, 77-75, 10 ticks remaining in the game.

Fortunately for La Salle, time was on its side as they chalked win no. 4 against to 3 losses to hold solo 4th place. On the other hand, Adamson gained a 5-2 card tying Ateneo and at first.

Ahanmisi led the Falcons with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Manganti tallied 23 points, seven boards and four assists.

AdU dominated DLSU on offensive rebounding, 26-9, that resulted in 14 second-chance points against La Salle’s 4.

The Green and White made 24 of 41 free throws, while Adamson only had eight in 15 attempts from the stripe.

Box scores:

DLSU 79 – Melecio 22, Santillan 16, Baltazar 16, Caracut 8, Montalbo 8, Serrano 5, Bates 2, Manuel 2, Dyke 0, Go 0.

AdU 78 – Ahanmisi 27, Manganti 23, Sarr 9, Catapusan 5, Camacho 4, Lastimosa 3, Bernardo 2, Colonia 2, Espeleta 2, Magbuhos 1, Mojica 0, Pingoy 0.

Quarter scores: 22-16, 33-32, 49-49, 64-64, 79-78 (OT).

 

UAAP Season 81 Preview: DLSU Green Archers

Drama ran high for the De La Salle University Green Archers this past offseason. With a whirlwind of roster fluctuation and turnover, any other team would have just gone into a complete rebuild. Not La Salle, though. The Green Archers are ready to jump right back in to contention entering Season 81.

The sun was blazing hot on one Saturday morning, exactly a week before the new season of the UAAP begins, but that didn’t stop the Archers from going right at it in practice. The whole coaching and training staff were there, focusing on the 13 men donning the Green and White and looking on as they put in work for the season.

Yes, all the drama that the program has been through left the team with 13 players remaining. Superstar big man Ben Mbala has moved on to his other basketball endeavors internationally. Glue guy Abu Tratter has exhausted all his playing years in the collegiate level and is now prepping for pro ball. Budding star Ricci Rivero and brother Prince have both went on to different paths. Even head coach Aldin Ayo, who transformed the team dynamic, has left for UST.

On the transition

Season 80 turnout: 12-2 (2nd in the UAAP); lost 1-2 in the finals against Ateneo

Holdovers: Kib Montalbo, Aljun Melecio, Andrei Caracut, Jollo Go, Justine Baltazar, Leonard Santillan, Gabe Capacio

Losses: Aldin Ayo (coach), Ben Mbala, Ricci Rivero, Prince Rivero, Abu Tratter, Brent Paraiso, Joshua Gonzales, Ramil Tero

Newcomers: Louie Gonzales (coach), Mark Dyke (returnee), Brandon Bates, Taane Samuel, Encho Serrano, Joaqui Manuel, Miguel Corteza

Even with a shorthand of players at a number of 13, this is not a problem to new La Salle head coach Louie Gonzales, who took over the reins of the team last January. We were able to sit with him to talk about the Green Archers of the coming season.

“They know that we lost a lot of players, but on the first day that I stepped in, I felt it right away that everybody was willing to step up”, Gonzales said when asked about the team’s atmosphere all throughout this transition. “I made it clear to them that it’s all about playing your role. We know that we have good players still, and even if there’s nobody as high a ceiling as Ben (Mbala) was, I told them that success isn’t about greatness, or having the best players. It’s about consistency. It’s about working hard everyday to be the best player and teammate that you can, and ‘yun ‘yung si-net kong goal for them to get rid of the pressure.”

A lot of eyes should still be on La Salle this season, with everybody curious to see how the team looks like. The 13 players are comprised of an almost-even deal of holdovers and newbies, with 7 mainstays, 5 rookies, and 1 returnee.

Spearheading the holdovers is the Man of Steal himself, Kib Montalbo, who’s playing in his final season in the UAAP. Joining him are Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut, the offensive-minded guard tandem who now have the responsibility of taking over a huge chunk of the scoring load. Jollo Go, Gabe Capacio, and returnee Mark Dyke are all two-way threats off the bench that give La Salle much needed depth.

The towering duo of Justine Baltazar and Santi Santillan are also the talk of the league, as they can finally have their potential unlocked this season with more playing time. In fact, Baltazar entering the season is gaining whispers of possibly being the best big man in the UAAP with his unicorn-like stature and impeccable skills on both ends.

Of course, let’s not forget about the rookies. Taane Samuel from New Zealand and Fil-Australian big Brandon Bates give La Salle quite a scary front court rotation. Encho Serrano from the Adamson basketball program, who just a few years ago, was touted as the best high school player in the country, is another scorer that the league should watch out for. Joaqui Manuel of Ateneo High School and Miggy Corteza from Bacolod are both reliable glue guys who could give the Archers valuable minutes from the wing.

“They’re definitely fitting in well with the system”, exclaimed coach Louie regarding the new-look Archers. “Sa totoo lang, there are new players, but if you look at it at the bigger picture, halos lahat new, not in terms of to the team, but to their roles.”

On preparing for the season

It was a high energy practice on that Saturday morning, with the coaches yelling their order for the team, and the players creating plays as the rest of the gym spectate. It is noticeable that there’s going to be a lot of ball and player movement, with everybody getting a chance to hold the ball and run the offense, from point guard to center. “It’s now more on what we’re going to do to win, whether it be fast or slow. Whatever it takes for us to win, we’re going to do that”, Gonzales said on what to expect from the Archers in terms of play style. “Actually, ‘dun parin yung Mayhem. It’s the energy, the consistency, and ‘yung pagiging spontaneous nila. It’s still there on both ends, except now, we’re going to also focus on the specifics.”

Over the offseason, the team participated in a number of tournaments as a preparatory stage, including the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup where they finished at the quarterfinals in a tough pool of teams. They also participated in international tourneys in Taiwan and Korea as a measuring stick of where they’re at with their chemistry and cohesiveness. “They surrendered themselves to the system”, as coach Gonzales would put it. You can tell that the trust is there within the team.

On the team mindset

It’s not only La Salle that has undergone changes. UST, FEU, UE, and Adamson have all made sweeping roster changes. UP and NU both bolstered their lineups. Rival Ateneo got richer with their new recruits. Even with this though, coach Louie Gonzales says he chooses to focus more on his team. “Sa tingin ko, all the teams are really competitive right now”, said Gonzales. “But I’m more focused sa team natin right now, and so when I look at the other UAAP teams, I’ll see them with respect, and for us to compete, we have to respect every team and give our best always.”

And it seems that this mindset has already rubbed off on the Archers. As they went on with the practice, they continually showed the teamwork that the coaching staff wants for them to reach new heights as a cohesive unit.

“When you talk about La Salle, it’s the Green Archers. All of them will have the Animo in them since they’ll be playing as one. They’ll play together. They’ll help each other out.”

Going in to Season 81

What’s impressive with the La Salle basketball program is that the resiliency is there, as this team should still very well be up there on the UAAP mountaintop. In retrospect, the moves made by the program instills a promise of bringing glory back to the Green and White. Winning looks to spring eternal for the Green Archers from this point forward.

Even with just 13 players on the squad, it’s the winning culture that proves time and time again that the Green Archers are a team to look out for. They won’t be going down so easily.

As our interview with coach Gonzales wraps up, we asked him for his message to the Lasallian community entering the season. “First of all, I want to thank the Lasallian community for their trust and confidence”, said Gonzales with a hearty smile in his face. “Alam ko naman that they’re with us, hoping and praying na we can perform to our fullest capabilities. Rest assured that myself, the coaching staff, and the whole team will do their best to make DLSU proud.”

Catch the De La Salle Green Archers in action for the first time this season on Sunday, September 9 as they take on the FEU Tamaraws at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Animo Green Archers! Animo La Salle!

Green Archers suffer first loss at the hands of Anteaters

The De La Salle University Green Archers suffered its first loss from the University of California-Irvine Anteaters, 102-58, Wednesday, in the Asia Pacific University Basketball Challenge in Seoul, South Korea.

The Green and White held their ground in the first quarter, thanks to contributions from big men Taane Samuel, Brandon Bates, and Santi Santillan, only trailing the US NCAA Division I Big West 2018 Runners-up by six points, 18-24.

All hell broke loose for the Archers in the second quarter as the Anteaters exploded for 31 points, led by freshman JC Butler, while holding DLSU to only five points. UC-Irvine ended the half leading, 55-23.

The Taft-based squad had a better showing in the third, with Justin Baltazar scoring all of his 10 points in the quarter. However, UCI kept its composure and extended its lead, 80-39.

DLSU showed no surrender in the last quarter despite the Anteaters’ sizeable lead, but the US contingent was able to sustain their huge edge.

Aljun Melecio topscored for the Green Archers, with 14 points to go along with two assists, two steals, and two rebounds.

Meanwhile, John Edgar Jr. led the Anteaters with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Muay Thai La Salle to ‘Respect All and Fear None’ in 2nd ASCEND Tri-school Amateur Muay Thai Competition

Written by Karsten Villarin and Cheska Erfe-Mejia

The De La Salle University Muay Thai Club look to defend their throne in the 2nd ASCEND Tri-school Amateur Muaythai Tournament on Saturday, April 14 at the LS Martial Arts Center in Ateneo de Manila University.

Looking Back

Muay Thai La Salle was founded in 2015 by alumnus Psychology student, Patrick Que. It started out as a small club with less than 10 members. Currently, there are only two remaining core leaders in the team: Alex Bondoc and Jolo Teves. Bondoc is a graduating Manufacturing Engineering student, while Teves is a Mechanical Engineering alumnus.

Que not only founded, but also coached the club. Aside from being a student of Kru Andre Puertollano, he was also a core member of Team Jaakphukao. He shared what he learned from Puertollano to the Muay Thai players of the University.

One of the goals of Muay Thai La Salle is to have Muay Thai as an official sport in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). Along with this, the team aims to spread their love and passion for the martial art.

After three years, it is an official club under the DLSU Office of Sports Development.

In the 1st ASCEND Tri-school Amateur Muaythai Tournament held last year, Bondoc defeated his counterparts in the Lightweight Division and claimed victory. He is now the defending champion for the Lightweight Division, under 130 pounds.

Pre-fight Preparations

Coming off a fresh start, the second edition of the same tournament will be the second event Muay Thai La Salle will compete in. The tri-school tournament features the same three Jaakphukao camps: Muay Thai La Salle, Muay Thai Ateneo, and Muay Thai UP.

The Taft-based Thai boxers toughen up as four contenders are chosen to represent the team. Bondoc and Teves look to strive for greatness to kickstart another opportunity for the Lasallian wing of Team Jaakphukao. Coaching them in their quest to remain undefeated are Puertollano and head coach Lyll Cordeño.

Cordeño sees La Salle as the younger team. But, it will not be a hindrance as long as they will train hard for the win. He said, “It’s called Martial arts, so it’s an art–not just a fight.”

Puertollano, the head and founder of Team Jaakphukao, trains and disciplines the Green and White fighters as well. When asked about how he can help the team improve, he stated, “Muay Thai is violent in nature. But for me, we have to go beyond that. When we teach it, it’s not about the aggression. It’s about the quality of the technique.”What Awaits

The tournament is composed of three divisions: Lightweight, Middleweight, and Welterweight. Each fight consists of three three-minute rounds.

As the club go on to gain experience, the dream of giving Muay Thai the recognition as an official sport of the UAAP and stepping into that level of competition remains ablaze.

Witness Muay Thai La Salle as they fight for greatness in the 2nd ASCEND Tri-school Amateur Muaythai Tournament on April 14 at the LS Martial Arts Center in Ateneo de Manila University.