Dela Torre and the bold, bald Braves are here to stay

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 14, 2016 08:19 PM
Dela Torre and the bold, bald Braves are here to stay
VIEW FROM THE TOP. Guilmer Dela Torre and Arellano have reinforced themselves as legitimate contenders in NCAA Juniors.

In his last three games, Guilmer Dela Torre has averaged 24 points – making himself into the NCAA 92 Juniors Basketball Tournament’s scoring dynamo.

As it turns out, however, the graduating guard wasn’t even supposed to star for Arellano High School.

Sharing with ABS-CBN Sports his beginnings from Bataan, “Yung kakilala ng tatay kong taga-Arellano, kuya ko yung dapat kukunin, hindi ako. Kaya lang, si kuya Marjun, fourth year na so hindi makakapag-residency.”

He then continued, “Ako, makakapag-residency. So nagulat ako kasi ako yung kinuha e sinama lang naman ako.”

From being an unexpected entrant to now the main man, Dela Torre’s journey mirrors that of the Braves’ climb onto the elite.

After a seventh-place finish as a rookie shot-caller three years ago, coach Tylon Darjuan now has Arellano alone atop the leaderboard. Talking about their burning desire to build on their Finals appearance last season, he said, “Hopefully, pinapamukha namin na gusto naming maging contender. Sayang naman kasi yung mga pinagdaanan namin last year.”

Along with their newfound status as contender, the Braves have now also become a destination for prospects. In fact, recruits like Reyger Dimaunahan, the prize of this year’s NBTC, and Kobe Camarillo, formerly top gun for University of the East, are now donning their blue and red.

Asked what could be the reason why those two chose to go with them instead of the other options they had, Darjuan responded, “Dahil sa samahan din namin dito siguro. Ang gusto ko kasi, hindi lang team, kundi family.”

Indeed, as a sign of unity, all Arellano players shaved their head for the ongoing tournament.

And no one is relishing their rise and the way they have been doing it together more than Dela Torre. As he put it, “Masaya po kasi ilang taong pa lang ang Arellano (sa NCAA), tapos kasama na ako sa mga nakikilala rito.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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