Retooled Archers out to challenge fancied Ateneo, UP in UAAP cage wars
Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao (third and fourth from left, respectively) with representatives of the La Salle Green Archers.
Team Phenom Sports
Retooled Archers out to challenge fancied Ateneo, UP in UAAP cage wars
John Bryan Ulanday ( - September 20, 2020 - 4:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rejigged De La Salle University may be just starting its new program under returning mentor Derrick Pumaren but it vows to give favorites Ateneo and UP a run for their own money in the upcoming UAAP Season 83.

Out to end a two-year Final Four drought, the Green Archers hope to be at par with the three-time champion Blue Eagles and the loaded Maroons that went on a recruiting offseason spree for the slated season opener after the pandemic.

Bannered by Justine Baltazar, Encho Serrano and Aljun Melecio, La Salle secured its future with a slew of recruits in UST’s Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao, San Beda’s Evan Nelle, NU’s Kevin Quiambao and Amadou N’Diaye with Fil-Ams Kameron Vales, Jeromy Hughes, Benjamin and Michael Philips.

“We’re very excited. Right now, the barometer is Ateneo. We have to put a team that will be able to match with them,” the seasoned coach said in The Chasedown over the weekend.

“Then, UP. They’re very loaded. It’s a big task but we’re up to it.”

Ateneo lost its core that swept the 82nd Season led by Thirdy Ravena but it remains ahead of the pack with the presence of holdovers Ange Kouame, Gian Mamuyac, SJ Belangel and Will Navarro.

The Tab Baldwin-mentored also left no stone unturned in a bid to extend Katipunan’s reign by scooping up Fil-American Chris Koon, Fil-Italian Gab Gomez, Fil-Kiwi Jordan Perez along with local catches Dave Ildefonso and Forthsky Padrigao.

Then, there’s UP which acquired Batang Gilas Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano from NU, CEU giant Malick Diouf, UST’s CJ Cansino along with Fil-Aussie Ethan Kirkness and Fil-Am Sam Dowd among the few.

They are set to bolster Bo Perasol's squad led by Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero and former UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie. 

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