Championship or bust for fully-loaded Green Archers

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 29, 2016 07:18 PM
Championship or bust for fully-loaded Green Archers
ALL IN. DLSU has only one goal and only one barometer of success for Season 79 - the championship.

 

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 6-8

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Andrei Caracut, Jason Perkins, Prince Rivero, Jeron Teng

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Aldin Ayo (coach), Justine Baltazar, Ben Mbala, Aljun Melecio, Ricci Rivero

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Juno Sauler (coach)

To borrow the phrase the Cleveland Cavaliers rode all the to the NBA championship that ended the city’s 52-year title drought, De La Salle University has gone all in.

All in to get to the mountaintop they haven’t been to in three years. All in to win it all in the UAAP.

Mythical selection and widely-assumed MVP contender Jeron Teng is back for his final go-round. Rookie of the Year Andrei Caracut is back a year older and wiser. Much-improved Prince Rivero is back to show he can improve even more.

Then coming in is Aldin Ayo, he who boldly claimed all of his teams won a championship in his first year with them before doing just that with Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA.

Also coming in is hulking Cameroonian Ben Mbala along with arguably the best-ever rookie class in UAAP Juniors champion and Finals MVP Justine Baltazar, UAAP Juniors MVP Aljun Melecio, and NCAA Juniors top player Ricci Rivero.

And as if that wasn’t enough, also returning for their fifth and final seasons are Jason Perkins and Julian Sargent. This, after the two of them expressed that they were already done with the UAAP right after last season wrapped up.

The message then, is pretty clear – it’s championship or bust for these Green Archers.

The players themselves say so. As team captain Teng put it, in a simple yet succinct manner, “That’s our goal talaga: the championship.”

Mbala could only agree and said, “When you start the season, the only thing in your mind is the championship. So our main goal is to win the championship whatever it takes.”

For Ayo, however, DLSU will not make any guarantees regarding the championship. One thing is for sure though – the same “mayhem” he employed over at Intramuros will also be in full effect in Taft Avenue.

As he put it, “Ganun pa rin naman ako, ‘mayhem’ pa rin.”

Because of their new mentor and his “mayhem” system that already has a proven track record, the Archers are confident that they are prepared to be the favorites, even though they aren’t the defending champions. “I think we’re ready already because it’s really different this year. We all learned to be tougher,” Teng expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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