Go Archers sat down with some of the Green Archers and asked about their thoughts on the team, the season and themselves.
You impressed a lot of fans in the preseason with your great passing and playmaking skills. In order to set up plays, the team must have good Chemistry. How do you think are you fitting inside the squad?
Si Coach Gee yung nagiintegrate sakin sa system niya. Kasisabi niya sakin na lahat ng mga ginagawa ko like passing , sabiniya it’s my talent kaya ipagpatuloy ko lang daw taposdadagdagan nalang daw kaya ako nagfifit sa system niya.
What do you think should the fans of the Green Archers expect from you this coming UAAP Season?
Siguro ang gusto ko na i expect nila sakin ay magiimproveyung decision making ko and yung shooting ko kasi sabi nganila wala akong shooting.
Arnold Van Opstal
You missed the FilOil preseason tournament due to injury;do you think your injury will have any effect on your performance this coming UAAP?
Physical aspect, no. Mental aspect, yes. Because having no preseason game obviously affects you mentally. Physically I am 100 percent.
I’m sure you’re very eager to come back to the court, how different is the AVO from last season to the AVO today?
Well, we can’t say because you guy haven’t seen me play in the preseason but physically I can say that I’m a lot tougher and I’m going to play a more physical game this season.
Obviously, you were a big part of the Green Archers’ campaign in the FilOil preseason tournament. How does it feel like being considered as one of the best players in the tournament considering the fact that you were part of the tournament’s Mythical 5?
It’s a great honor, you know, to be awarded with that award because the tournament is composed of NCAA and UAAP players so it’s a really big step to my basketball career.
You solidified yourself as a force to be reckoned with both offensively and defensively in the preseason tournament. What aspects of your ball game do you think you can improve on?
I think I can still improve on everything. I guess a part of it is not settling on where I am at so I’ll try to get better at every aspect of the game.
A lot of fans consider you as the team’s go-to guy now, what mindset will you have this coming UAAP?
I’ll have the same mindset I had in the preseason. I’ll be working hard and will do my best to fill the role given to me. And whatever the team needs I’ll try to do it to the best of my ability.
What should fans expect from you this coming UAAP?
Expect me to play harder, play with a lot of focus and a lot of character this season. I think I’m more than capable of leading this team right now.
Thomas Torres and Gabby Reyes
You only had limited playing time in the preseason tournament, what aspects of your ball game do you think you can still improve on?
Thomas: Siguro I can improve more on how I handle the ball para masmaganda yung ikot ng bola. Kasi that’s what my coaches have been telling me na iikot ko lang yung bola.
Gabby: Right now, I think I can improve on my defense and shooting so that I can get into the roster more.
As a rookie, what mindset will you have come this UAAP?
Thomas: I’m not expecting too much of playing time, pero if given the chance I’ll really give my best kahit a minute or two lang, bastakahit sa offense and defense I’ll give everything.
Gabby: I just want to make a name for myself and hopefully bring the team into better heights when compared to last year.
I’m sure you’re aware of the hype that surrounds you, have you already adjusted to the hype? Are you afraid that you might not meet the fan’s expectations?
Everyone’s expecting me to do good this UAAP, and the fans motivate me to do more and to work harder.
What aspects of your ball game do you think you can improve on?
My shooting talaga from the outside.
What do you think is your biggest asset and your biggest weakness as a player?
My biggest asset is that I can create opportunities not only for myself but for also my teammates. Kasi I love to drive and when I drive it creates shots for me and for my teammates. Yung weakness ko siguro is yung sa shooting ko from outside pati narin sa perimeter.
What mental and physical preparations do you undergo before each game?
Every game I visualize at home and at bed and just think about the things I have to do in the game and the adjustments I need to make.
So this is your last playing year, what are you going to do differently this season so that your stay here in La Salle will end with a bang?
Hopefully, I’ll help my team in any way that I can to be able to acquire a championship kasi in my whole stay here I’ve been in the finals once, we missed the Final Four twice and made the Final Four only once so it hasn’t been a very stellar stay for me in La Salle so hopefully I’ll end my career in La Salle with a bang by acquiring a championship.
Fans were very impressed with your performance in theFilOil preseason tournament particularly on your defensive skills. How much do you think have you improved on?
Personally, I think everyone in the squad has improved this year kasi ngayon, the roles of the players are clearly defined. We know exactly what we have to do on the basketball court and everytime I’m fielded in I know that I have to play defense.
You started the preseason tournament on the bench, but you found yourself in the Starting Five as the tournament went on. What does it feel like being selected in the Starting Five after being on the bench for so long?
Of course it’s a great feeling to make it to the Starting 5. Lalo na ngayong UAAP nagpeak yung laro ko. I’m just taking advantage of the opportunities given to me like yung mganainjure kong teammates which gave me the chance to play and luckily I was able to perform naman.
What aspects of your ball game do you think you can still improve on?
I think you shooting ko lang kasi it hasn’t been consistentnung preseason tournament so hopefully I’ll be able to know down my shots come this UAAP.
What should fans expect from Jed Manguera this coming UAAP Season?
I’m just gonna play hard and lay it all on the basketball court. I’m going to give my 100% all the time, I’m going to contribute and I’m going to hustle on defense.
Coach Gee Abanilla
What is the team’s mindset come this UAAP?
Our mindset right now is basically focused on three things. First, we want to be the hardest working team in the league. Second, we want to have a very disciplined team. And finally, we want to have a team with a lot of character. So basically, we’re working around those three philosophies.
What did you think of the team’s performance in the preseason tournament?
We were very happy with the result of the preseason tournament. We achieved what the coaches planned in the off season. In the Father Martin’s Cup, we gave exposure to our young guys and the guys coming from injuries. Pero in FilOil, I think we improved as a team and as individuals so we’re very happy about it.
Of course we’re still the underdogs. We’ve been out of the final four for the last two years and I think a lot of the teams have really beefed up in terms of talent an cohesiveness. We are a team coming from a new system and I think there will be a lot of adjustment. Like what I’ve said, we’re just trying to improve as a team and as individuals.