UAAP Team Preview: DLSU Green Archers
Published on September 4th, 2015 | by JC Gonzales
Three titles bagged, three titles lost. For the last three tournaments joined by the DLSU Green Archers, they failed to defend the title despite reaching the tail-end of the respective leagues.
Back in 2013, they notched the UAAP Season 76 crown via a heart-pounding Game 3 overtime win over University of Santo Tomas (UST). Months later, they cemented the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) games over the Southwestern University Cobras. In the summer of 2014, they fortified their stride as the top collegiate team in the FilOil Games with a win over their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rivals San Beda Red Lions. And then came the devastating finish to last year with a cold-blooded loss to the infamous shot of Mac Belo and the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws; thereafter succumbing to the Red Lions in the PCCL, and just last June, they were demolished again by San Beda in the finale of the FilOil tournament.
Come September 6, it’s all about regaining focus. As the common scenery in college sports, there will be old faces gone and new faces to look out for. The Green Archers will continue to be one of the top teams to parade this upcoming UAAP season seeking for a shot at the top of league once again.
This year, the Green Archers will be losing the services of the PBA-bound Norbert Torres, Yutien Andrada and Almond Vosotros. Arnold Van Opstal also declared his option to sit out his final playing year due to an injury. Torres, Andrada and Van Opstal were the team’s main centers to man the middle for the Green-and-white. Vosotros, of course, is a known marksman for the team and also led the league in total made three-pointers last season with 34.
Meanwhile, three former Lasallians in Matt Salem, Robert Bolick and Terence Mustre will be donning other school colors in their new college squads. In addition, incoming 3rd year point guard Kib Montalbo will be sitting out the entire season due to a knee injury in the pre-season games. Ben Mbala would also be out for the roster as he was ruled out to play for the team by the UAAP board.
Additions and Holdbacks:
To start up the beefing up of the squad, La Salle got the services of PBA coach Siot Tanquingcen as an assistant to coach Juno Sauler’s squad. The Barako Bull head coach already started helping the team back in the FilOil tournament.
The 15-man lineup of the Green Archers is led by the fourth year duo of Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres. While summing up the come-backing players from the previous season are Jason Perkins, Prince Rivero, Julian Sargent and Abu Tratter.
Interestingly, there will be a lot of new faces to watch out for in this squad which is anchored by Andrei Caracut, who ended up snagging a Mythical Five spot in the FilOil games. PCCL roster-select Larry Muyang, Joshua Torralba and Daryl Pascual will also soon be making their UAAP debuts for La Salle. Joining them are the remaining first year players in Jollo Go, John Gob, Lorenzo Navarro, Andrew Langston and Leondro Joson.
Crunching the numbers: Still maintaining their status as one of the teams to look out for this season, this new-look Green Archers team is expected to bounce back with the way they were eliminated last season and erase the disappointment of not being able to defend their Season 76 title. They ended last season with a 10-4 record but then again, fell to the virtual best-of-three affair to the eventual bridesmaid finishers.
For the past seasons, the frontcourt prowess of the team was one of the main sources of points for the team. This was evident last season as they were last in the league in terms of fast break points (6.8ppg) but had a tournament-best in the rebounding battle (46.7). Interestingly, the Archers’ drive-and-kick or spotting their shooters made their frontcourt of Teng, N. Torres and Perkins as their squad’s leading assist men.
Jeron Teng is the team’s leading scorer and second in the league behind Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena by averaging 18.7 ppg but has evolved to an all-around player stats-wise by also grabbing seven boards and dishing out 4 assists per game. Jason Perkins led the entire league with 9.7 rebounds a game.
On September 6, it will be a battle between the past two UAAP champions as La Salle opens up its Season 78 against the National University Bulldogs. Parading a very much different lineup compared to the last two seasons, we will see on how Coach Juno Sauler will operate this UAAP year with a lot of rookies in the roster mixed up with the veteran trio of Teng, Perkins, and Torres.
One of the team’s primary concern is going to be the health of the roster which will be a key in terms of maintaining the team’s chemistry with Joshua Torralba now being out at most six weeks due to a hand injury obtained weeks prior to the upcoming season.
With the exit of the towering bigs of La Salle, Abu Tratter is expected to man the paint in the middle, while newcomers like Larry Muyang and Prince Rivero give their productive hustle points down low. With flashes of a small-ball type of offense seen in the pre-season tournament, Coach Juno also ran plays with a 3-guard setup on the floor and pushed the pace with their young guns.
As every game is considered important in their campaign to be on top of the Men’s Collegiate basketball scene anew, some of the key games in the first round aside from the opener against NU will be the game against FEU, which eliminated them last season, which will be played on Sept 13. The highly-anticipated game against their arch-rivals Ateneo will be on October 4.
As every team got an extended period of rest and preparation due to the calendar shift of the UAAP, expect an action-packed season ahead. Follow @dlsusports for our full coverage of the season.