Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DLSU 2012 - Looking Back, Looking Ahead

2012 was a good year for the DLSU Green Archers. It wasn't great, but the team showed a lot of spunk and promise that a lot of basketball fans are looking forward to what they will achieve in 2013. That's right, the outlook is very positive and the team remains relatively intact.
I compiled a few of my photos of some Green Archers from this years UAAP wars.
First, the graduates...Jovet Mendoza had some influence as a role player this year. Personally, I would have loved to see him more aggressive on offense; but honestly they needed his defense more and he certainly gave the team a lift in that department. 
Papot Paredes may get more minutes and fill the vacancy next season but he will have to get tough in the shaded lane and gain more self-confidence.
Whenever the name "Joshua Webb" gets called by the coliseum barker, there always seems to be more than a bit of excitement in the stands. He plays an exciting brand of basketball and he certainly made an impact in his rookie year; it is unfortunate that his 3rd and 4th years saw him getting limited playing time. He is a tough defender on the court and a friendly and polite young man off it. I think there is consensus that if he works hard at his game, he may still end up playing in the PBA.
The remaining members of the team will look to Jeron Teng to lead them. With the show he put on this year, it will be tough to consider him a rookie. Teng is a rare breed who can do it all on the court: score, rebound, assist and a host of other intangibles. In only his first season, he managed to get the confidence of his team mates and the coaching staff. When the game is on the line you can be sure that the ball will find itself in his hands in the remaining years he has left in La Salle.
Another rookie who has made a very impresive and surprising impact is Thomas Torres. This 5'9" point guard ably filled in the minutes of the oft injured LA Revilla. Considered a tough and heady player he actually created more attention when to aided Ateneo's Juami Tiongson who got cramps in the last few minutes of their Final 4 game. He will probably get into the starting five next year and we look to his ritual of hanging on to the rim before the start of each game.
Second year center Norbert Torres, aka The Bear will be one of the teams enforcers. His size makes an imposing presence in the key hole area and his scoring and rebounding ability cannot be questioned. He always plays with a lot of intensity that gets the other players fired up.
No matter how tough he may look, I think he will also be the teams Papa Bear as he is very protective of his team mates.

In the photo above, the chap you see between Misters Torres and Torres is shooting guard Jed Manguera. If Norbert Torres is considered an enforcer, Maguera is made of sterner stuff. Quick and agile, he usually gets the toughest defensive assignments.
I don't normally like posting pictures fisticuffs but this just typifies Manguera's tough as nails attitude (and the confrontation was nipped in the bud by cooler heads). All season long he has had more than a bump or two in the face, hence the protective face mask.
The other beanpole on the roster actually has a reputation that precedes him. Arnold Van Opstal was an awaited prospect since his high school days. A 6'8" center, he is sometimes fielded at the same time as Norbert Torres creating DLSU's own version of the twin towers. He has been known to love slamming the ball through the hoop and certainly has the height and leaping ability to do so. As he gets more experience, expect this incoming junior to be more creative with his shot selection. Slam dunk competitions should be a lot more interesting in the coming years.

I am expecting him to improve on his defense and shot blocking ability this coming year. His ability to position himself in the paint for boxing out opponents and rebounding should also be reinforced.
In his three previous years with the Archers, Yutien Andrada's offense has been severely underutilized. Better known for his defensive stance, he has been a consistent rebounder and shot blocker.
This year has been a scoring revelation as he had an all time personal high of 17 points (7 of 8 shots) together with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. in the game against Ateneo in their Final 4 game. A number of his baskets came off a pass to him lurking under the basket for a reverse under goal stab. Unfortunately La Salle lost the game and ended their season, but definitely Andrada has a lot to look forward to next year.
All great players have a moniker: "Magic" Johnson, "Air" Jordan, George "Iceman" Gervin  and 2012 will be the year Almond Vosotros got his. Getting recognition for this timely 3-point shots, announcers started referring to him as  Almond "Voso-tres". He can play the 1 or 2 position and has emerged as another go to guy. He will most likely be given more responsibility and surely will be up to the task.
Don't write off LA Revilla just yet. I still consider this guy the spiritual leader of the team and his on court smarts and play making ability will continuously be counted on by the team. Playing most of the second round with an injury his numbers certainly suffered but I expect him to rest and recuperate and be his old self by next years tourney.
 All in all, with this core of players to be backed up by the likes of Olan Tampus, Luigi Dela Paz, Mark Tallo, Ponso Gotladera, Gab Reyes and a couple of recruits, DLSU should be in very competitive spirits for a long time to come. With experience and confidence come championships. They surely seem to be headed in the right direction.

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