Tech, Sports, and Health. All that keeps TJ busy


Now that the season is officially over for DLSU, it got me thinking again as to how this should not be how they fared this year.

Firstly, I honestly feel uneasy to see the best college coach so far in UAAP history get eliminated by NU and wrap up the season at 5-9. It’s just not a fitting “exit” considering rumors are strong that Coach Franz is retiring after this year and will run for congress. Then supposedly he will hand to reigns of the team to brother Dindo. I think most UAAP fans, aside from UST of course, would have loved to see DLSU make another miracle run and slug it out again in the Final Four against Ateneo. But as they say in basketball, bilog and bola. And that’s how the cookie crumbles. This is the first time since the final four format was used since 1994 that DLSU is missing out on the mayhem.

Now I look back at the season for DLSU and yes I will agree with many, its not entirely the fault of the coach, and he just really had limited material this year. I recall very clearly that at this year’s preseason presscon, Coach Franz himself was very honest to admit that this is his youngest team ever. But I doubt he predicted then it would get this difficult and this, well, ugly specially if you look beyond the Wins and Losses and look at the quality of games.

With the material they had this season, few can still argue that they could’ve and maybe should’ve gone a little further. But do you remember they lost key players between the end of last season and the start of this one? Lets look back who should’ve and could’ve been around.

1) Rico Mairhoffer – yes not too many remember that he still had one more year of eligibility. But because of the stilly rule of the UAAP that if you declare for the PBA draft (which happens during the UAAP season) of that year, you are deemed ineligible for the UAAP. Yes, even if you have yet to set foot on a PBA court during your last year in the UAAP. So its always a gamble, either you play out your last year and then sit and “rot” your “stock value”, yet “mature” with your skills in the PBL for a year and half before . This is in contrast with the NCAA ruling that a senior player can sign up for the PBA draft and still play out that (his) last season. Odd differences indeed… ok so going back to Rico, you know what he can do. You know they badly needed a veteran bigman this season, you know they needed and inside presence on D to block shots. Yes Andrdada had some moments albeit late in the season, and Bringas also had some big games. But the consistency of Rico was sorely missed specially with the joo-joo of Ferdinand and Co pretty much zapped to outer space too.

2) LA Revilla – it was sad news to hear a week before the season that the incoming 2nd year point guard would be missing at least the whole season due to a thyroid condition that made him drastically lose weight. We all saw what kind of spunk and leadership the rookie guard showed in DLSU’s awesome run last year that brought them all the way to the finals. The shallow PG rotation this year, and the infectivity of Malabes and arguably sub-par performance (based more on expectations too) of Atkins really showed how Revilla was sorely missed.

3) Marco Batricevic – this guy just cant seem to get lady luck on his side. For the 2nd straight season he seriously injures his knee and again missed the whole season. Marco has seen such limited minutes that we couldn’t even give him a nickname yet. We heard he has a solid outside shot and great basketball smarts. Oh and did I mention he is 6’5? Another bigman that could’ve really really helped out.

4) Jeric Teng – I know, I know, you must be saying “whaaattt???” but yes, little do people know that Jeric was pretty much all set to go to DLSU just like former Xavier High school teammate Gab Banal. I first saw him at the launch of the RP Youth squad in September of 2008. In fact, he was so much considered a lock for a spot in the final roster of then RP Youth Coach Franz that the PR group handling the team was heavily promoting him together with Banal, Marata, and other 2nd generation players. I even went to their championship game vs Chiang Kai Shek (hope I spelled that right) which then had Justin Chua. The Banal/Teng tandem clobbered them and went home with the crown. I was already incredibly impressed with this kid and Banal. But to my shock when the final line-up of the RP Youth squad was announced, Teng was nowhere to be found. I asked around and heard reports that the Teng family had some sort of falling out with Coach Franz. (I never tried to get my nose into it since then and details are still hazy) Which then eventually led to him pulling out of the DLSU team too and ending up in UST now. So there, can you imagine a DLSU attack with Teng and Webb at the wings? Awesome. And it should’ve happened.

5) Norbert Torres – yes he is there and due to get his stuff going in Season 73. But reason why I add him on this list is due to another silly UAAP rule. That one that is discriminatory on players just coz they graduate from outer space, este from out of the Philippines. That rule says foreign grads must sit out 2 years coz of their presumed awesomeness. Yeah right. Not to say that the 6’7 Torres is not. He has shown his stuff with the RP Youth squad, won MVP in fact in the SEABA averaging 11pts, 6 rebs, and 1.25 blocks. And we could presume he is quite comfy now in Coach Franz’s system. Torres is yet another bigman whom DLSU should have by now, if not for another UAAP silly rule.

So can you imagine these 5 guys added to DLSU this year? Surely Coach Franz may have to take out some rookies to make room. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the great play and potential of these guys could even dislodge some under achieving veterans they have had this year. Given this “shoulda-woulda-coulda” line-up, I’d say they’d be a shoe-in for the Final Four and possibly even be at #3 or as high as #2.

Next year DLSU is said to be strong for sure. Torres is more than ready, Bringas would finally be 100% healthy and one year matured. And if you wanna speak of young rookies maturing, I cant wait to see Marata, Andrada, Tolentino, and Banal next year. And of course an ever aggressive and intense Joshua Webb to lead them too.

So I wish the Archers the best of luck in the off season. No matter what happens with regards to Coach Franz’s decisions on his personal and political career, for sure the heartaches and lessons learned will make the team work harder and be more motivated to go for an awesome Season 73, which by the way will be the year they host the UAAP again.


22 Responses to “THE DLSU THAT COULD’VE BEEN…”

  1. so true bro. a teng/webb combo wouldve been deadly! with la at the point and rico in the middle.. CRAZY! i hope la is healthy by next season and torres lives up to the hype. how many more years will marco be with the team?

  2. Given all the circumstances, I commend the boys for still giving their best. Its just not final four worthy this year. Next year though will be very interesting.

    Too bad about Jeric Teng, that guy can really play. And yeah, Marco does shoot extremely well beyond the arc.

    So what can be done about those silly UAAP rulings? Rico and Torres both have logically sound reasons to have played in this season, rules are meant to be logical, after all.

  3. I’m actually from UST and is obviously rooting for my team.

    But yeah. Somehow, I wish DLSU made it to the final 4 this year. Not only for the chance to see more of the classic ADMU-DLSU rivalry, but at the very least give coach Franz a better sendoff in case he does push through with retiring.

  4. TJ,

    Good piece, you need a writing coach though or someone to edit your stuff, but you did have very good insights.

  5. Im also from UST tj,but im a fan of coach franz.You forgot the the younger Alas who’s also doing great in Letran.Imagine if he has been in the DLSU roster,he should have been a great addition.

  6. Hi Sir TJ! I’m from UST, and definitely, I’m rooting for my team. =D
    I think the main problem of the DLSU this year is not all those misfortunes. It is more of the remaining players of DLSU unable to mature and step up. I guess they relied so much on JV Casio and Rico Maierhoffer last season that when those guys disappeared, they turned to be like helpless children, clueless on what they’ll do. But I have to agree with you that DLSU would be a very strong team to beat next year. So kudos, La Salle! 😀

  7. good one TJ…muntikan na pala si teng sa dlsu ano…

  8. I know that it would have been another epic battle between the rival in the Final Four stage but is is always a “no show” for the veterans every crunch time. There were two instances that they could have pulled a win on both situations during crunch time but Bagatsing turned the ball over and the other is Joshua Webb committed a traveling violation. I think that is versus AdU and FEU. I do not say that DLSU is the better team over AdU, FEU or UST but with the potential that they have, it could have been there in the Final Four. Such mistakes are almost expected for the rookies but for the veterans, that is a no no already. I am a big ADMU fan but this year, it is the first time that I wished for the Archers to make it to the Final Four.

  9. I think lack of leadership within the players could be consider a factor also. Coach Franz keep on forcing either Webb or Mangahas or Villanueva to be role leaders on the court.. however, they just couldn’t handle the team and the pressure when they play. You may look at UE at their recent games… the leadership of Paul Lee and Elmer Espiritu beamed up the other players because they are really ready towards a fight…and with that, you could say that it’s lacking inside La Salle.

  10. nice way of analyzing the DLSU lineup had things went their way in terms of having certain players. webb would have been more comfortable with having rico, la revilla, teng, marata, bringas & norbert torres around.

    instead of being a main man on a “weak” team, webb could have been a perfect “intangibles” guy on this loaded team, doing shawn marion type things on the court.

    I’m starting to miss the Archers already.
    A wake up call indeed.

  12. I think the veterans like Mangahas, Malabes, and Barua could have compensated the opportunity losses for DLSU. They have not been good role models for the rookies.

    In another note, the full-court press wasn’t that too effective this season. Which left me thinking is it still worthy to continue it? or is it just because of the current players? The top teams have clearly identified its flaw and they easily broke it.

    I also hope LA Revilla will be back in top condition next year. I had high hopes with this guy after last season. His ball handling and penetration was sorely miss this season. The Archers often stalled during the offense and they did not ran their offensive sets well settling on too many bad shots.

    Lastly, are there more RP Youth guys coming in for DLSU next year besides Torres? Can’t wait til next season begins.

  13. Poll of the week: How should La Salle coach Franz Pumaren spend the rest of his September?…

    It’s finally happened: De La Salle University is out of the UAAP final four for the first time since the format was instituted in 1994. Tony Atayde already filed a post-mortem and I’m assuming he’s crying green tears, while TJ Manotoc is already deep i…

  14. how about the hype about van optal of dlsz? will he suit up next season? bigger guys are needed to beat ateneo!

  15. I still congratulate the boys for still giving their best. Its just not their time now.f Next year, they will be more mature and it will be very interesting. Especially Webb(a little control)! I can’t wait to see him dominate the court! I think he will be the next MVP! 🙂 and La Salle for the crown next season!

    is Kish Co still going to play next season?

  16. I am from UST and yes I ‘m happy we’re on the Final Four this season, after last year’s heartbreak for Jervy and our other star players who graduated as well.

    It’s really sad there would be no greenies on the last days of UAAP Men’s Basketball (I am Thomasian yet I’m a big fan of the DLSU-ADMU rivalry, it makes me go gaga about the league!). IT WAS A REALLY DIFFERENT TEAM WITHOUT RICO AND JV. But I know they could make it on Season 73! 🙂 La Salle’s not a weak team, it just happened for some reasons — maybe for them to be tougher, stronger and more determined. At least they did their best proving that they could play even without Casio and Rico. Yes, it is a wake up call for the Green Community.

    Animo La Salle!

  17. hi tj, excellent stuff. i’m a bit annoyed though that people keep on saying that dlsu is a young team, being that as an excuse for their lackluster performance this season. though it’s true, they’re not the only team that lost veteran players. say for example, ust. they too lost jervy cruz, and 5 other quality players (e.g. cuan, allera, canlas), but i have never heard pido/thomasians claim the same excuse as la salle. check the line up of ust, and a bulk of their team is composed of rookies and sophomores. the difference is that the veterans of la salle did not step up. they could’ve been a great team this season if malabes and mangahas were good leaders. it was the perfect opportunity for them to show their a-game and they disappointed and failed to live up to expectations.

    as for your first “what if”, the same thing happened to ust when they lost duncil. i completely agree with the silliness of that rule of not playing your last year. can the uaap not adopt the same rule as the ncaa? it’s too bad, it would give the player more opportunities to hone their skills and their game in a raw set-up.

    just my two cents.

  18. they need a point guard…

  19. For the last games of UST, DLSU was given another shot at making it to the final four, how lucky can they get? It was really on their hands. But they played like a team without a heart. Imagine, they blew it away by losing to NU. I thought the biggest upset was ADMU’s loss to UP. Anyways, what can we do, we’re just watching from the sidelines, which is easier I guess than actually playing. So there. No DLSU.

  20. Franz being rated as a good coach should know how to used his line ups………………………Magaling nga di ba??

  21. If we want to win, we need our other veterans to step it up. Malabes has to improve his shot selection. I also believe that Barua and Mangahas are only in their fourth year. If so, next year, Mangahas has to step it up and be more of a leader because his PBA stock is low as of now based on his performance this year. And Barua needs to be more consistent offensively and defensively.

    Webb needs to grow up and be more mature. He has the skill set of becoming a great wing man in the UAAP.

    I believe that we can become champions in our centennial year. We must believe. Go DLSU!

    BTW, we must defeat Ateneo. I hope our 5 game losing streak from them ends in our next match.

  22. sir tj,

    nice piece you have there. just read it though it’s been a while in the Net. anyway, i am also a firm believer that la salle will break out in the next season. i think norbert torres will add some firepower to the team. if papot paredes will suit up, he can also be a force to reckon with. but i am concerned about the backcourt. la salle really needs to have solid options in the point guard position. tolentino and la revilla are not enough. maybe, there are others outha who can fill up the void.
    but this one’s my biggest concern though. la salle needs to say goodbye to atkins, ferdinand, malabes, mangahas and barua. it’s time to give chance and room to other players who possess the talent and capability to play games the hard-nosed way. gotta give those kids outha who have the “HEART” to compete a chance to prove themselves in the collegiate b-ball scene.
    and yes, sir, you gotta give us scoops from time to time about our favorite team- la salle. i can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Archers next season (esp. that they’re gonna be the Hosts).

    daghang salamat!

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