Will the Arellano bus be going anywhere?
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 02, 2018 08:16 PM
Kent Salado will not be playing for Arellano in NCAA Season 94 - meaning much is expected from youngsters like Levi Dela Cruz, Guillmer Dela Torre, and Maui Serajosef
HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 9-10 overall, sixth, lost to Letran in battle for fifth spot
YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Richard Abanes, Michael Canete, Levi Dela Cruz
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Guillmer Dela Torre, Maui Serajosef
GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Lervin Flores, Zach Nicholls, Kent Salado (injured – out for season)
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM ARELLANO?
For the first time in five years, Arellano University will have neither Jiovani Jalalon nor Kent Salado manning the point.
Jalalon, the brightest star the school has ever produced, is now playing for Magnolia in the PBA while Salado suffered an ACL tear early in the year, keeping him out of action for the season.
That leaves the door open for Levi Dela Cruz, tagged as “The Coaster Driver” by head coach Jerry Codinera last season, to take the wheel.
That also means many touches and heavy minutes for prized rookie Guilmer Dela Torre who once shot Arellano High School into contention and plans to do the same in the Seniors.
Lervin Flores’ spot down low also needs to be filled, but solid forward Michael Canete and Filipino-American rookie Maui Serajosef look like they’re up to that task.
WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM ARELLANO?
Dela Torre is the best Brave there ever was – and he finally gets to showcase his skills for the Seniors squad. The five-foot-nine guard is a scoring machine who just needs to prove he can take the hits in the big league.
His fellow first-year player Serajosef is also somebody to watch as, apparently, his spot was the same one supposed to go to former University of the East star Bonbon Batiller. The Fil-Am showed flashes in preseason leagues, but needs to prove he can spread that out for an entire season.
More than the players, though, this will be the season for coach Jerry to prove his brilliance on the bench. He has already proven to be a master recruiter with the likes of Jalalon, Salado, Flores, and Dioncee Holts, but his shot-calling will need to step up now that the talent is lacking.
WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR ARELLANO?
We rooted for Arellano even when they had Jalalon and Salado because the Chiefs were the underdogs.
That much is still true right now. They are still underdogs – only now, they don’t have shining stars on the roster.
After all, isn’t that the definition of being an underdog?
WHERE WOULD ARELLANO BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94?
Through we love to root for the underdog, Arellano will be on the outside looking in after the elimination round. They have the talent and the experience to pull off upsets, but in the end, their win total will fall short in bringing them back to the Final Four.
WHEN IS ARELLANO’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94?
Arellano opens its campaign opposite modern-day rival San Beda University on July 10 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.