MANILA -- De La Salle Zobel star Rhyle Melencio, together with another homegrown talent in La Salle Green Hills point guard Ethan Alian, will play collegiate basketball for De La Salle University (DLSU) in the UAAP.
The Green Archers formally secured the two players' commitment on Tuesday at the EcoOil Office in Mandaluyong.
"Nung nag-commit na ako sa La Salle tumaas balahibo ko dahil hindi ako makapaniwala na natupad na 'yung pangarap ko since bata ako," said Melencio, a member of the UAAP Season 85 Boys Basketball Mythical Team.
"I'm just really happy na my dreams are coming true and malaking bagay 'to para sa akin and para sa family ko," he added. "And siyempre nagpapasalamat ako kay Coach Topex (Robinson) na tinulungan niya ako matupad pangarap ko."
The 19-year-old Melencio is a 6-foot-4 forward, who averaged 17.36 points and 14.93 rebounds along with 2.5 blocks per game for Zobel in the UAAP Season 85 juniors basketball tournament.
"I was surprised and impressed with the way he grew and improved. His scoring and rebounding show his potential and his dedication to growing into his craft. Hindi naman 'yun chamba dahil ginawa niya talaga 'yun and that's the result of his sacrifice for his growth," said Robinson about Melencio.
Melencio was the seventh-ranked recruit in the 2023 NBTC 24.
"For me, it's a dream come true kasi 'yung pagiging Lasallian ko kasi since Grade 6 nandun na ako," said Alian, who helped steer the Greenies to the NCAA Season 98 juniors basketball finals.
"Yung community po doon, Coach Topex, the managers, and my teammates, I feel will be good for my development not just as a player but also as a student."
The 18-year-old Alian, a 6-foot-1 point guard, put up 12.08 points, 5.92 rebounds, 4.31 assists, and 1.62 steals per game for LSGH.
"He is a guy who is willing to sacrifice the limelight for the success of his teammates. If you are looking for a player who is willing to give his power away for the good of others, that's Ethan. That is the value he brings that impressed me the most," Robinson said about Alian.
"Despite it all, he is still a team player and you want that from your point guard. He still chose to make others look good. That's what a leader is."
Also on Tuesday, Vhoris Marasigan reaffirmed his commitment to the Green Archers.
The 19-year-old Marasigan, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, impressed during the 2023 SMART NBTC National Finals earlier this month. Playing for Batang Tiaong, he put up numbers of 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
"Yung path naman ni Vhoris is different. He took one step back but two steps forward," said Robinson as Marasigan opted to sit out his final playing year with San Beda University-Rizal. "He didn't play in the NCAA in his last year but he was able to prove his worth in the NBTC."
"He showed what he can do despite playing hurt. It showed his true character. It's a blessing to have a player that has that kind of mindset," he added.
The trio joins Jonnel Policarpio, Isaiah Phillips, and Matthew Rubico of Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite as part of the incoming freshman class of DLSU.