All eyes are on the reigning UAAP General Champions, De La Salle University. The Green-and-White have a target on their back; they are the team to beat, and the road to keeping the title in Taft for Season 79 will not be an easy one. This challenge will only get tougher throughout the year, even compared to the journey of reclaiming the title last season.
With the first half of the season already underway, these are the athletes to look out for in the first semester of UAAP action.
Chay Vergara: Making it rain
Being an essential piece in her team’s offense is nothing new for Lady Archer Chay Vergara. Her hot shooting from behind the three-point line will be vital in La Salle’s bid for the women’s basketball title. The stingy defense of the reigning champions, the NU Lady Bulldogs, will make the Lady Archers look for more perimeter points to aid their attack. After four games, Vergara has a 77 percent three-point field goal percentage, converting 10 out of 13 attempts.
Emy Dael and Carlo Mateo: Third time’s the charm
With expectations high after their tremendous debut season, Rookies of the Year Emy Dael and Carlo Mateo from the Lady Paddlers and Green Paddlers, respectively, will look to step up in their teams’ journey to their third consecutive double championship. Both teams hope to continue their dominance in the league after going 14-0 and 13-1, respectively, last season.
Neil Puyo: Starting with a bang
Fresh off his first season with the Green Tankers is sophomore Neil Puyo. Leading his team with 71 points, a product of six podium finishes, Puyo is out to continue making big waves around the league, and ultimately, lead his team to the championship.
After sitting out last season due to an unfortunate ACL injury, Kib Montalbo is more than ready for the DLSU Green Archers. His ability to run plays and create shots for his teammates will definitely complement the team’s stacked arsenal. After four games, the junior point guard currently averages 7.0 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per outing.