Sauler in hot seat; Archers to regroup
HOW the coming months will play out for La Salle remains uncertain as the squad reels from a blown opportunity to crash the UAAP Final Four.
Calls for coach Juno Sauler’s ouster kicked in, a complete turnaround from his celebrated status just two years ago when he steered the Green Archers to the men’s basketball championship on his debut season.
Sauler talked about just living “in the present,” knowing the demands from one of the most pressure-packed jobs in collegiate caging.
But bits of good news also trickled in with King Archer Jeron Teng promising to return for his fifth and final year and sophomore Prince Rivero proving he’s a force to watch.
Andrei Caracut won top rookie honors to join this season’s outstanding performers led by Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, who captured his second straight Most Valuable Player award.
“Those guys who have one year left, I’m sure they don’t want to graduate from La Salle with this kind of ending,” said Sauler. “I’m sure they’re hoping for a better ending. And with Jeron deciding to come back, probably we’ll get to influence the other guys and come up with a better showing next year.”
The Archers missed the Final Four for only the fourth time in 22 seasons after losing their last elimination-round assignment to Far Eastern University last Wednesday.
It turned out to be a stunning end as the Archers folded in a game the Tamaraws— who had their bench players getting most of the action—seemed to be giving them.
“I don’t want to charge it to bad luck, or the other team being very lucky when they play us,” said Sauler.
For now, the Archers comfort themselves with little achievements like Teng’s inclusion in the league’s top five players.
Ravena amassed 69.50 statistical points (SP) to lead the Mythical Team that includes University of Santo Tomas’ Kevin Ferrer (67.35), National U’s Alfred Aroga (63.28), Teng (60.78) and UST’s Ed Daquioag (60.75).
Caracut (31.67 SP) won Rookie of the Year over UST’s Marvin Lee (31.43).