From being Green Archers to Elastopainters, Ty Tang (BMG, 2007) and Ryan Araña started their careers in different courts.
Tang, the former court general for the Green Archers, is a Xavier School standout. Araña (SPM, 2007), on the other hand, took his secondary education at Colegio de San Lorenzo.
Though both were born in the same year, Araña entered the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) a year earlier. Both players were drafted 12th overall in the succeeding years (2007 and 2008) by the same franchise.
Ryan and Ty started playing the sport in their early years, playing the sport at seven, and five, respectively.
Both though, have similar reasons to play the game; Tang plays to his family, especially for his brothers, while Araña plays for his dad who first taught him the sport.
“In a way, they really give me their
unconditional support, there will be continuous motivation from them from the time I played for the varsity up to now,” said Tang as he thanked his family for their support.
They also have players that they look up to, be it in the international league or here in the Philippines. Tang patterns his moves previously with Johnny Abarientos and presently with Steve Nash. Ryan, meanwhile, idolizes Robert Jaworski, Manu Ginobilli, and Macmac Cardona who he describes as his ‘kuya’ during their days in DLSU.
Donning the Green-and-White jersey
Coming from different high schools, Ty and Ryan finally crossed roads in a single institution when both decided to play for DLSU after ending their high school careers.
“We know La Salle is one of the finest schools here in the Philippines,” said Araña who tried out for DLSU after his stint in the RP.
Both considered playing for DLSU and ADMU in their collegiate career, but they chose to play for DLSU because of different reasons.
“Since I came from a Jesuit school, I wanted to try another institution that would make me a better person [and] individual overall,” said Tang as he wanted to mix his learning from the Jesuits with new learning from the Lasallian brothers.
Ryan, on the other hand, had already tried out for Ateneo, but he did not jell well with the players because of formed groups in the team.
The two became DLSU’s starting backcourt duo; Tang played point and Araña took the number two spot.
La Salle memories
Tang and Araña’s years were the glory years of the Lasallian brand of basketball.
They were both members of the 2004 championship, which was recalled due to technicalities.
Though Ryan did not experience a championship win in his collegiate career, he does not have any regrets in playing for the Green Archers, and remembers loving the team.
It was in these years that the Archers squad was really looked up as a team. The chemistry was great, and there was cooperation between the players.
Ryan and TY, together with Mac Cardona, Joseph Yeo, Jayvee Casio, Jervin Gaco and JunJun Cabatu have lead an era, which has defined a Franz Pumaren brand of basketball that many Green-and-White fans, would always remember.
He also said that his stay in DLSU expanded his network, which had helped him achieve his success today.
“In college, there is pressure. Number one, studies, second is basketball. You need to perform, if not, Coach Franz [Pumaren] would get mad. You need to give your 100 percent, which is the same in the professional league (PBA),” described Ryan.
Ty, meanwhile, has one recorded UAAP championship as an Archer. This was the Archers last crown in 2007 after the team came off a suspension in 2006. It was also in this year that the Green-and-White squad swept all the leagues and tournaments it joined.
“We went in to redeem ourselves,” said the 5’8 playmaker.
Ty also remembers the support of the whole Lasallian community in his college days. “During college it’s really the school spirit especially during UAAP season. You see your classmates, blockmates, teachers, faculty and staff, alumni really behind your back cheering for you,” said Ty.
A bigger stage
After showcasing themselves in the collegiate level, the two Archers went on to play in the Philippine Basketball League to prove that they could play with the big time players.
After losing their championship dreams in the hands of the FEU Tamaraws back in Season 68, the two looked to bounce back in their PBL stint.
Followed by their spectacular amateur performances, the two were drafted in the PBA.
Arana, drafted by Welcoat (former team name of Rain or Shine), played the supporting role for Gabe Norwood’s gang, and contributed decently in his rookie campaign. The pesky Archer defender averaged 7.7 points, and grabbed at least two boards a game in his first year.
Tang, on the other hand, was drafted the year after and played backup for Sol Mercado. He came off the bench for the majority of his rookie season, averaged seven markers, and dished out at least two dimes in 20 minutes per outing.
Having been drafted in consecutive years by the same franchise, the two have continued playing together.
With the trade of Mercado to the Meralco Bolts, Tang has slowly clawed and earned the green light to lead the Elastopainter team. Araña, meanwhile, who can play multiple positions with a much improved perimeter shooting, has earned his status as a starter for the squad.
With the entry of another explosive guard in the squad in Paul Lee, the backcourt tandem of Lee and Araña has been a success for the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad.
In their recent championship in the pro league last August, Araña averaged five points, three rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes of play; he also showed his airtight defense whenever he enters the floor.
Ty, meanwhile, has also produced good numbers, with six markers in 12 minutes of play and an average of 44 percent field goal shooting; he has also helped run the floor well for the team.
“Given the way I play, I’m not talented or athletic, I’m trying to organize people inside, I just motivate people to have one goal, to win,” explained Ty.
In the long run
The two Archers continue to work well in the court as they see themselves as role players more than star players. They share the same philosophy in winning games; both agree, “If your team wins, it’s not just the star player, all of you would receive the credit.”
As they take longer and wider paths together, former Archers assure the Lasallian community that they would be giving their full support in all the coming seasons of the UAAP.
Ty envisions giving back to fellow Lasallians through the same thing that he did in his high school Alma mater; he wants to establish a basketball clinic.
Ryan, meanwhile, committed that he would give whatever he can to help DLSU programs.