It’s a whole new ballgame for the DLSU Green Archers

After that turbulent aftermath following last UAAP season, the Green Archers are ready to move on and start over.

With a new coach and a host of new players, the team is restructuring not only its roster, but its identity as well. It’s going to be whole new way of doing things with the hope that it would result to not just having one championship season but also sustainability and continued success.

When La Salle parades their lineup in today’s opening of the FilOil Flying V Cup, it is expected that many will be shocked and at the same time sad to see how a lot has changed since December.

Only 7 players are returning from last season. Leading the way is team captain Kib Montalbo, the most senior of them all who was part of the last two DLSU UAAP championship teams. He looks to win one more before he ends his collegiate career. Other returnees are Andrei Caracut, Santi Santillan, Jollo Go, Aljun Melecio, Justine Baltazar and Gabe Capacio. Making a comeback after sitting out for personal reasons are Mark Dyke and Jboy Gob.

In this summer tournament, the Green Archers will have 7 newcomers – Taane Samuel from New Zealand, Filipino-Australian Brandon Bates, Joaqui Manuel from Ateneo, Niel Tolentino from Letran, Carlo Lim from Jubilee HS, Miguel Corteza from Bacolod Tay Tung and Ian Herrera from LSGH.

With former assistant coach Louie Gonzalez now at the helm, the team is expected to play under a new system that will not center on one or two players. It will be a total team game wherein every player’s role is well-defined and all are expected to contribute significantly on both ends.

It appears the recruitment philosophy is now based on what the system needs. Afterall, it has been proven that a team that relies heavily on individual talent can still be beaten.

Just as in previous editions of this tournament, this will be an opportunity for the team to adjust and develop in time for September. Winning the championship here is always nice but it is not an accurate gauge on how they will be in the UAAP.

The Green Archers are in reboot mode and expectations should be managed. Those highlight dunks and big-margin wins won’t come often as in the past two year. There willl be struggles that is for sure.

What we expect from them though is to play hard and compete every game. That is all we could ask and hope that everything plays out well.

La Salle will go up against UP today at 4:30pm

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