UAAP: Evan Nelle appreciates 'mutual respect' between Ateneo, La Salle | Inquirer Sports
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UAAP: Evan Nelle appreciates ‘mutual respect’ between Ateneo, La Salle

/ 06:17 PM April 14, 2022
La Salle's Evan Nelle. UAAP PHOTO

La Salle’s Evan Nelle. UAAP PHOTO


MANILA, Philippines — Evan Nelle admired the mutual respect between Ateneo and La Salle despite being the fiercest rivals in Philippine sports.

The transferee guard from San Beda relished his second rivalry game in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament, where he scored his season-best 20 points to bounce back from his struggle in their first meeting.

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It was a dream come true for Nelle, who used to play in NCAA’s San Beda-Letran rivalry three years ago.

“I’ve always dreamt of playing an Ateneo-La Salle game ever since I was a kid. This is a dream come true for me,” said Nelle after La Salle fell to Ateneo, 75-68, last Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

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But even playing in front of a roaring 11,124 crowd, the 5-foot-10 guard appreciated the gesture between both schools after the game.

“For Beda-Letran is… how do I put it in a good way? They get to your skin, the Beda-Letran crowd gets to your skin, they say different things. But come Ateneo-La Salle, when we were singing our alma mater,  Ateneo was cheering for us. They were giving us a clap that was mutual respect,” he said. “That was kind of that’s different, you know, I don’t know how to put it, I couldn’t. I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

La Salle coach Derick Pumaren lauded the valiant effort of Nelle but he stressed it could have been a different result if the guard received ample support from his teammates.

“He made some tough shots, he was fighting there but one guy cannot do it alone, two guys cannot do it alone. Everybody must be locked in, all hands on deck to be able to beat Ateneo and with Evan there playing that way, we need more support from others,” Pumaren said.

Nelle regretted their missed opportunities after Ateneo made a blistering third quarter run. But he promised that the Green Archers will learn from another setback to the Blue Eagles as he hopes to see them in the bigger stage in the post-season.

“They’ve made a huge run in the third quarter. We were in the game, but I think we lost steam, we couldn’t convert and (couldn’t correct our) mistakes. That was a crucial run. Too bad, we fell short but we’ll get them next time,” he said.

La Salle, currently at No.3 with 5-3 record, braces for its final six games of the eliminations, resuming its campaign after the Holy Week break against University of Santo Tomas on Tuesday next week.

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TAGS: De La Salle Green Archers, Evan Nelle, UAAP Season 84
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