DLSUís Thomas Torres: ďArnoldís my kuya. I treated him as my older brother.Ē
Santino Honasan on Aug 07, 2015 12:07 PM
"As a friend, as a teammate, Iím gonna miss Arnold. "
When the 78th season of the UAAP kicks off this September, a lot of teams will be going in with a new look and a new lineup of players, including Season 76 champions De La Salle University.
The Green Archers will no longer have sweet-shooting guard Almond Vosotros, as well as big men Tayshaun Andrada and Norbert Torres, all of whom have played out their UAAP careers.
The biggest loss to DLSU however, would arguably be the absence of post presence Arnold Van Opstal, who will be sitting out his final playing year due to a nagging injury.
RELATED: Goodbye UAAP for Van Opstal?
Last season, AVO spent a lot of time on the bench due to the said injuries, and came back during the post-season, but was visibly not his usual dominant self. Still, the Green Archers were neck and neck with Far Eastern University, until a game winner from Mac Belo booted them out of the semifinals.
The loss of Van Opstal will definitely be felt on the floor, but for fourth year guard Thomas Torres, Van Opstal’s presence will be missed beyond the hardwood.
“Arnold’s been a very good teammate, and a very good friend to me, so it’s a big loss.” Torres told ABS-CBN Sports.
Van Opstal served as a mentor to a lot of the younger guys on the team, which includes Torres, who said that he looks up to (literally and figuratively) to the 6’9’’ Van Opstal.
“Arnold, for me, is my kuya. I treated him as my older brother. Every time I have a problem, lagi akong lumalapit kay Arnold. Sinasabi ko ‘bro, I feel down’, he’s always there for me, he’ll talk to me, ‘let’s have dinner, let’s talk about it over dinner.’
Torres further explained that AVO’s leadership was something that the whole Green Archers squad saw.
“It’s not just with me, it’s with everyone, kasi last year he was one of the captains, so kung sino yung may problema, sasabihin namin kung ano yung problem. Pero si Arnold kasi yung magsstart, mapapansin niya, na parang ‘Bro, is something wrong? Let’s talk about this, c’mon.’
Torres, along with Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins and the rest of the Green Archers will be looking to reach the mountain top once again. And while one of their captains will be looking on from the sidelines, the boys from Taft, armed with youth and talent, will still be as dangerous as any team this coming UAAP season.
UAAP Season 78 begins this coming Saturday, September 5!