DE LA SALLE UNIVER­SITY GREEN ARCHERS

EV­ERY­BODY IN THE UAAP KNOWS THAT THERE IS CON­TI­NU­ITY IN THE RE­CRUIT­MENT PRO­GRAM OF LA SALLE BAS­KET­BALL. BUT IS SE­CUR­ING THE SER­VICES OF ONE OF THE MOST DEC­O­RATED HIGH SCHOOL TAL­ENTS IN THE LAND STILL ENOUGH TO GET TO THE TOP? THIS SEA­SON, WE WILL FIND

Rebound Magazine - - UAAP PREVIEW - by An­ton Roxas

Parang hindi nasiya rookie eh. Kasi ha­los tat­long taon na namin­siyang nakakasama sa laro,” said Jovet Men­doza. The guy he was re­fer­ring to is Nor­bert Tor­res.

Born and raised by Filipino par­ents in Toronto, Canada, the 6’6” Tor­res flew home to the moth­er­land in 2008 to join the RP Un­der18 Youth Team coached by none other than for­mer DLSU cham­pion coach Franz Pu­maren. Al­ready fa­mil­iar with the Pu­maren sys­tem, Tor­res will fi­nally be able to strut his stuff in the league. His play­ing style? Cur­rent DLSU head coach Dindo Pu­maren men­tions one name: “Dirk.” As in, Ger­man NBA player Dirk Now­itzki.

Like Si­mon Atkins who ad­justed well to play­ing a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion last sea­son (re­fer to the Si­mon Atkins fea­ture also in this is­sue), Yu­tien An­drada has to learn how to play num­ber 3 this year. There are a lot of scor­ers in the league at the small for­ward po­si­tion like Mike Silun­gan and Kevin Fer­rer, to name a few. It is up to the 6’5” An­drada to stop them.

Mak­ing his re­turn to the hard­court af­ter miss­ing two UAAP sea­sons is L.A. Revilla. The for­mer San Beda Red Cub was named to the All-Rookie team along with for­mer high school team­mate Nico Salva in 2008, be­fore he was di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes and hy­per­thy­roidism. “I missed the game it­self. Na­pakahi­rap ng nasa likod ka ng bench ha­bang­pina­panoodmo ‘yung team mo,” said an emo­tional Revilla. “I re­al­ized a lot of things dur­ing the past two years. Akala ko kasi dati na parang, ‘If you take away bas­ket­ball, then you take away my life.’” The witty point guard un­der­stands that there’s more to life than bas­ket­ball but now that he’s been cleared by doc­tors to play again, he has a cou­ple of goals for the up­com­ing sea­son that

he wants to achieve. “To prove to my­self that I can com­pete once again. To help the team. Play for the school and help bring ma­tu­rity to the team.”

Bench

When you see that tall, ripped, light skinned guy with the wide wing­span dunk­ing dur­ing the warm-ups, you can’t help but re­mem­ber Rico Maier­hofer. Al­though he has yet to de­velop the moves of the for­mer La Salle star, Arnold Van Op­stal at 6’8” is two inches taller than Maier­hofer. “I ac­tu­ally got the chance to play with him once dur­ing my third year in high school. He was very en­cour­ag­ing. He gave me a lot of high fives al­though we didn’t re­ally get a chance to talk,” shared the 19 year old Filipino-Ger­man who was born in Frank­furt, Ger­many. For his rookie sea­son, his role is sim­ple: “Blocks. Re­bounds. That’s it. Keep coach happy.”

For­mer San Beda Red Cubs, Dan Sara and 6’5” Fonso Got­ladera are also set to make their UAAP de­buts. Sara is a cat-quick point guard who spent a year in Team B while Got­ladera is de­scribed by team cap­tain Si­mon Atkins as “Kevin Love”.

For ex­pe­ri­ence off the bench, Coach Pu­maren calls on Maui Vil­lanueva.

Ca­gayan de Oro na­tive Joseph Marata is also back to shoot the lights out along with the 6’6” Phillip Pare­des and for­mer De La Salle-Zo­bel Ju­nior Archers, Luigi de la Paz, and Joshua David Webb, who has re­quested to be called by his other name, “Spi­der”. He’s not kid­ding. He’ll show you his driver’s li­cense just to prove that to you.

Coach­ing

When Coach Dindo Pu­maren took over from his older brother last sea­son, he stated that he would con­tinue the pro­gram and in­cor­po­rate some of his ideas. But, ac­cord­ing to Webb, with a lot of new rook­ies, it’s an­other process to get them ac­cus­tomed to the Pu­maren sys­tem. “We’re all try­ing to get on the right track to­gether,” he ex­plained.

In­tan­gi­bles

When they badly needed some­body to step up to be their leader last sea­son, Si­mon Atkins stepped up to the plate. This year, Pu­maren has L.A. Revilla to back him up as the ex­ten­sion of the coach on the floor. The team’s task is to make sure that ev­ery­one on the team re­mains fo­cused and de­ter­mined to pro­tect the win­ning tra­di­tion of La Salle bas­ket­ball.

Out­look

This is a very im­por­tant year for the Taft based squad. If they fail to make the Fi­nal Four, they might have to con­sider find­ing other meth­ods be­sides re­cruit­ment and over­seas train­ing to get bet­ter.

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