Round-Up: La Salle celebrates Animo Night, NCAA updates and more news
Coach Juno Sauler – “Live Each Moment with the Purest Intentions”
Thousands of students, mostly clad in green and white, filled the lovely Henry Sy Sr. Hall in La Salle’s campus Thursday to celebrate the triumphs of the Lasallian athletes in the UAAP.
In a celebration dubbed as “Animo Night,” students and fans alike gathered to fete the athletes who brought for the La Salle in the first semester of competition.
“We will not have a bonfire, but let’s keep the animo burning in our hearts,” said La Salle president Brother Ricky Laguda in a speech.
While it was a night for all, the recently crowned men’s basketball team, no doubt, was the centerpiece.
The entire Green Archers team, all dressed proudly in green, was presented on along with their head coach Juno Sauler, who became known for his stoic demeanor in the sidelines.
A huge photo of a broadly smiling Sauler, though, was bannered on stage the entire night with the words emblazoned “the smile of hard earned success.”
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“Actually, hindi ako ang nag-lead, buong team talaga pati na rin mga coaches. Lahat kami nagtulong tulong. We pulled ourselves up together,” he stated. “Nu’ng una, siyempre may struggles and nag-a-adjust pa kami. But we peak at the right time.”
Sauler also joined the fabled list of coaches who hoist the men’s title on their first attempt and, interestingly, came at the expense of UST counterpart Pido Jarencio, who did the trick in 2006.
“It’s a great learning experience not just for me but for the whole team as well,” he said.
Sauler also disclosed how his charges have grown leaps and bounds since falling short against the Tigers in overtime 58-63 in their season opener last June 29.
“Before the finals, I watched our very first game against UST in the first round. I was laughing at how we played. It’s not how we play now but how we started. Comedy ba?” he shared as he finally flashed that smile.
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Vosotros can’t put into words how happy he was scoring the game-winner for La Salle.
“Sobrang saya, hindi ko ma-explain kung gaano kasaya. First title ko sa college. Iba ’yung feeling,” said Vosotros, who had former and current Green Archers Arvie Bringas and Yutien Andrada as teammates during their run of four straight championship in 2008 with the Staglets under head coach Raymond Valenzona.
The shooting guard said a lot changed since their 3-4 win-loss card in the first round.
“Wala pa kami nung first round kasi bagong system ni coach. Pero solid na ’yung teamwork namin nung second round,” said Vosotros, a Valenzuela native who has one more year left with La Salle.
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“That’s just me. I’m not trying to imitate anyone,” said Sauler, on the comparisons. “But I never got to watch Greg Popovich.”
Ironically, Sauler will now have that chance to meet Popovich up close.
The Green Archers coaching staff led by Sauler are set to go on a trip to San Antonio where they will be observing the training camp of the Spurs as they prepare for the coming NBA season.
The 10-day trip was also made possible by Chip Engelland, an assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs who was a naturalized player during the eighties when Danding Cojuangco bankrolled the national team program under the Northern Consolidated banner.
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After the Green Archers wrapped up Game Three of the Finals against University of Santo Tomas, Paras was spotted in the victory party with La Salle chief backer and business tycoon Danding Cojuangco.
“I’d be loyal kasi si Boss Danding pa ‘yung tumutulong sa akin, so I’d be as loyal as possible,” Paras said in an interview with Spin.ph.
“Malamang nga dun na ako. As of now, ‘yun na muna siguro masasabi ko. I’m leaning towards that (playing for La Salle),” added the 6-5 high-flyer.
Unless he changes his mind, Paras, currently in third year in high school at La Salle Greenhills, will be making his UAAP debut with the Archers in 2015 with another top recruit – Ben Mbala.
Asked if he doesn’t consider the possibility of playing for the University of the Philippines Maroons, which his father Benjie led to the championship in 1986, the 16-year old cager shook his head.
“Hindi na siguro, andun naman na si kuya. So okay na ‘yun, La Salle na lang ako,” he said referring to older brother Andre, who played for the Maroons starting this season.
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Arellano came up with a huge fourth quarter turnaround in order to dispose College of Saint Benilde, 76-70 in their efforts to stay in contention for a Final Four slot in the 89th NCAA at the Arena in San Juan.
Prince Caperal, for the third straight victory led the Chiefs’ attack with 25 points and eight rebounds as Arellano improved their record to 6-9 to stay within EAC and San Sebastian for the number four spot.
The Blazers, who are already out of contention dropped their eleventh game for a 5-11 record.
Paolo Taha erupted for 20 points and 10 rebounds on another losing cause for the Blazers. Technically, CSB is coming off an 89-95 loss from the hands of Letran. Their last outing, which is against LPU was halted due to the leaking roof of the venue. The game was stopped at the 8:09 mark of the third with the Pirates ahead by one.
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AU (76) — Caperal 25, Pinto 13, Hernandez 12, Agovida 12, Jalalon 6, Forrester 6, Gumaru 2, Salcedo 0, Serjue 0, Cadavis 0, Enriquez 0.
CSB (70) — Taha 20, Grey 13, Romero 12, Saavedra 9, Jonson 5, Garcia 5, Deles 4, Sinco 2, Nayve 0, Bartolo 0, Argamino 0, Carlos 0, Ongteco 0, De Guzman 0.
Quarters: 12-17, 36-35, 55-54, 76-70.
In junior’s basketball, LSGH (13-4) def. AU (3-13), 71-50. The Greenies remain in the hunt for the 2nd spot in the semis as they trail the SSCR Staglets by half a game.
LSGH (71) –Rivero 25, Paras 16, RP Rivero 12, San Juan 7, Abadeza 5, Barrera 2, Gob 2, Lanot 2, Dela Cruz 0, Salonga 0, Alcala 0, Lozada 0, R. Rivero 0,
AU (50) — Mascarinas 9, Rivera 8, Juico 8, Balbarona 8, Rabusa 7,Cabahug 4, Paulo 4, Banal 2, Peralta 0.
Quarters: 12-17, 34-26, 48-36, 71-50.