MANILA, Philippines - After topping the Filoil Flying V Premier Hanes Cup with a 71-66 victory over its NCAA counterpart San Beda, La Salle is setting its sights on the 77th UAAP basketball season unfolding July 12 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum where it hopes to complete a back-to-back title feat.
“This is part of the preparation for the UAAP and we still have a month to do so,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler, moments after he steered the Archers to a league-best third title in the annual tournament serving as warm up to the UAAP and NCAA seasons.
Sauler, however, said there are still room for improvement.
“We still have a lot of things to improve on,” said Sauler, who piloted the Taft-based cagers to collegiate basketball’s three-peat after winning the UAAP and PCCL last year.
The Archers will be back with practically the same roster that won last year’s crown with Jeron Teng, Almond Vosotros, Jason Perkins, Arnold Van Opstal, Thomas Torres and Norbert Torres all accounted for.
Another big boost for La Salle is the return of lanky big man Yutien Andrada after missing last year’s campaign with an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear.
The Archers will also parade some promising rookie recruits in Fil-Ams Julius Sargent and Jahal Tratter and Terence Mustre.
Sargent and Tratter will be eligible to play this season after undergoing residency last year while Mustre is the son of former PBA player Mike.
La Salle opens its season against Far Eastern U while host University of the East clashes with University of the Philippines in the inaugurals.