Although the UAAP allows each member school to have at most 16 players in its basketball roster, the DLSU Green Archers will enter Season 77’s festivities with only 14 players. At around this time as well in the previous year, the La Salle coaching staff surprised the league after it trimmed down their line up to just 13 men.
Interestingly though, despite having an ‘undermanned’ roster during the previous season, the Green Archers still emerged as the UAAP champions, toppling UST in three games of the finals. After a momentous second round sweep of the eliminations, La Salle defied all odds and turned their first round losing record into gold. The UAAP Season 76 championship was La Salle’s return to the league’s basketball spotlight, their first title since 2007.
The Green Archers’ 13-man roster of last season implied an easier player rotation for head coach Juno Sauler. In fact, during Game 2 of the best-of-three finals series, Coach Sauler only used seven of his 13 players for the entire duration of the game. Meaning, after the starting five, only two other players came off the bench. Yet despite the limited players, Sauler’s strategy worked, and La Salle won that match.
This time around, a familiar breeze of news comes from the Green Archers’ territory. With the Green Archers seeking to defend their basketball title in the upcoming UAAP Season 77, Sauler and the rest of the coaching staff announced that they will only have 14 players this season. Of the 14 members, four rookies have made it into the final roster. Former LSGH standout Prince Rivero, swingman Julian Sargent, big man Abu Tratter, and point guard Terrence Mustre made it through La Salle’s tough newbie screening process.
The lanky center/forward Yutien Andrada is set to make his UAAP comeback this season after sitting out in last year’s tournament due to an ACL injury. Other key returnees for the Green Archers are reigning Finals MVP Jeron Teng and veterans Almond Vosotros, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, and Thomas Torres. Jason Perkins, Kib Montalbo, Robert Bolick, and Matt Salem will also provide depth to the La Salle line up.
Noticeably absent from the roster are veterans Gabby Reyes, Luigi dela Paz, and Oda Tampus who were all part of last year’s champion squad but were relegated to Team B for this season. Also gone from the roster is guard LA Revilla who decided to take his talents to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) where he was selected 24th overall in the rookie draft.
This coming season, Vosotros, Andrada, and team captain Norbert Torres will be playing out their final year of UAAP eligibility. Meanwhile, Salem, Bolick, Perkins, and Montalbo will play just their second year of eligibility while T. Torres and Teng are in their third year, with van Opstal as the lone Green Archer in his fourth playing year.
During the preseason, the Green Archers carried as much as 18 players. However, after a careful deliberation since the end of the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, the roster was trimmed into a narrower pool of 14 talents.
The Green Archers will begin their quest towards back-to-back UAAP championships as they take on the FEU Tamaraws in their first assignment on July 12 at 4 pm in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.