Ayo: La Salle still a force next season
The dominant run in UAAP Season 79 capped by a sweep of Ateneo in the finals could just be the start of a dynasty for De La Salle in the country’s top collegiate basketball league.
Not one to back away from making bold predictions, La Salle coach Aldin Ayo is confident the Green Archers can make it two in a row next season with Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala returning to lead the charge.
The Archers will lose two-time Finals MVP Jeron Teng, Thomas Torres, Jason Perkins and Julian Sargent to graduation after this season.
But Ayo believes his team can still win the title next year.
Kib Montalbo, the anchor of La Salle’s “Mayhem” defense, expressed his readiness to take on a bigger role for the Archers next season, while Aljun Melecio is also looking to follow up an impressive rookie season.
“I think we will have a more balanced lineup next year,” said Ayo. “We had so many scorers and stars in this team. Next season, we will have role players who can really thrive and execute in our system.”
Among the players tipped by Ayo to shine next year is former University of the Visayas standout Leonard Santillan.
Ayo said he recruited Santillan after playing against University of Visayas in an exhibition game in Davao early this year.
Gabe Capacio, son of former pro Glen, is also expected to help the Archers next season along with former University of the East player Josh Gonzales and Ramil Tero, a transferee from St. Clare.
“Our program is really to have a team that will contend for the next three to four years,” said Ayo.
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