UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM DALTA ALTAS
LOSING TOOK ON A DIFFERENT HUE OVER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM DALTA LAST SEASON AS THE LAS PIÑAS OUTFIT ENDURED ITS SIXTH CONSECUTIVE LOSING CAMPAIGN – BUT UNDER THE DIREST OF CIRCUMSTANCES. A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE START OF SEASON 86, THE
The two centers of controversy in that thorny ineligibility case – Marlon Gomez and Paul Nuilan – trained with the squad until they learned of their fate just days before opening tip. Their absence accentuates the loss of Raffy Ynion, already an embattled figure down low in his final year. That’s how small the Altas will be in Season 87. Hardworking Justine Alano (8.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG) was already undersized at the power forward spot but will be forced to play center along with Jeorge Allen (10.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG). Alano provides extra muscle thanks to his crafty play and willingness to hustle and secure that leather, while Allen can use his athleticism in the paint. The “big man by committee” set-up will also feature natural small forward Harold Arboleda (5.1 PPG, team-high 6.8 RPG), a revelation in 2010 despite spending a bulk of his minutes filling in the four-spot. He could start the game at the three position but eventually move up to the four given Perpetual Help’s dearth of big men.
Jett Vidal remains one of the league’s deadliest snipers. Expect him to improve on his 30.2 percent three-point shooting clip as he attempts to offset the loss of leading scorer Arnold Danganan. Joining him in the backcourt is third-year playmaker Chris Elopre, a potent passer who had a breakout rookie campaign before sputtering in Season 86. The onus will be on Elopre to push the ball on every occasion as the Altas try to make the best out of their small lineup.
The squad’s lack of ceiling spills onto the back-up corps. Returnee Harold Sumera and rookie forward Jonathan Tonggal, a
National Basketball Training Center product from General Santos City, add some heft and physicality, but neither of them are as big or wide-bodied as opposing big men. Shooting forward and former FEU-FERN star Anthony Paulino will get his chance to bolster the rotation after spending a couple of years with the scout team.
The silver lining in having a smaller unit is speed, and that’s what Perpetual Help’s second-stringers possess. Leading that charge is combo guard and spark plug Jaypee Asuncion, a second-year who played scarcely in 2010. He’s been drawing rave reviews in the pre-season with his energy, and his lanky frame can pay dividends on both ends of the floor. Playmakers Joel Jolangcob and Markley Parico, and sophomore Cris Sison will all
have a crack at spot duty.
The protracted eligibility hearings that carried over to 2011 prompted the resignation of Boris Aldeguer around a week before Perpetual Help’s opening game in Season 87. Taking his place is his chief deputy, Jimwell Gican, whose latest coaching stints in the collegiate ranks were with Colegio de Sta. Monica and Las Piñas College.
Gican, who is also part of Aldeguer’s staff at De La Salle-Zobel, seems intent on building on what his predecessor initiated when he took the helm two years ago, with heavy emphasis on scoring in transition and falling back on variations of the triangle offense should his squad fail to convert on the primary break.
Perpetual Help lost its first 14 games in 2010 and set a new record for the worst start to an NCAA season before winning its final two assignments. Going into Season 87, the mental game is just as ferocious as the opposition. Two months before his resignation, Aldeguer declared, “We’ve got to believe that we’re good enough to win again.” This will surely be Gican’s mantra heading into the NCAA wars.
A realistic, short-term goal for the Altas would be to distance themselves from the bottom and avoid getting blown out on a consistent basis. The coming season presents the program, as a whole, the chance to harness the talent of its younger players.
C PF SF SG PG Justine Alano Jeorge Allen Harold Arboleda Jett Vidal Chris Elopre