MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University should be among the early favorites to win the UAAP men's basketball championship next season after luring head coach Aldin Ayo from Letran and bringing in new talent that includes Ben Mbala, Aljun Melecio, and potentially, Ricci Rivero.
Melecio, one of the best players and most explosive scorers in the UAAP juniors division, has already committed to La Salle, while Ayo said Rivero has done the same although the NCAA standout has yet to make a formal announcement.
Mbala, the athletic big man from Southwestern University in Cebu, is set to finally make his UAAP debut in Season 79 barring any more complications. La Salle still has solid holdovers from last season's team, including reigning Rookie of the Year Andrei Caracut and veteran guard Thomas Torres.
Is coach Bo Perasol on his way back to his alma mater?
Reports surfaced Thursday that the offensive-minded coach is on his way back to University of the Philippines where he is pegged to lead the men’s basketball team.
Perasol confirmed that he has been approached for the job, but nothing is final yet.
As if the next UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament needed to become even more special, it is set to feature the most recent champion coaches in the country’s top collegiate leagues.
Nash Racela and his champion Far Eastern University will be challenged by an intact De La Salle University now mentored by Aldin Ayo – formerly of NCAA kings Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
Such is far from a common occurrence as the two collegiate champions didn’t even come close to one another in the National Collegiate Championship. In the 79th Season of the UAAP, however, Racela and Ayo will have no choice but to go head-to-head not once, but twice – and that’s only in the elimination round.
Once Aldin Ayo finally unveils his version of the De La Salle University Green Archers, he said that everyone should expect the same mayhem his former team utilized all the way to a championship.
While Ayo’s non-stop pressure defense indeed served as the backbone for Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s title run, they were also propped up by the big-time basket-making of diminutive Mark Cruz. When the Knights found their offense stalling, they knew they had “Ant-man” to rescue them.
Now in Taft Avenue, the NCAA champion will no longer have the clutch hands of Cruz. Instead, expected to do the heavy lifting will be battle-hardened warriors like Prince Rivero, Jeron Teng, and Thomas Torres.
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Bong dela Cruz on Monday broke his silence to deny allegations that he verbally and physically abused players during practices and games.
"Nais kong ipabatid na simula nang lumabas ang mga 'issues' o usapin laban sa akin ay nagpasya akong manahimik, dahil walang katotohanan ang mga binabatong issues laban sa akin," Dela Cruz said in a statement.
Dela Cruz said he wanted to let the issues die a "natural death," but instead more and more allegations were levied against him that are personal in nature.
Even a UAAP Finals stint isn’t enough to keep University of Santo Tomas coach Bong dela Cruz at the helm.
Dela Cruz had been sacked recently as head coach of the UST menís basketball team, multiple sources told the Inquirer Saturday.
The move came just a month after the Tigers settled as runner-up to Far Eastern University in the title series.
MANILA -- For those who still didn’t know who in the world Aljun Jay Aloba Melecio is, even after he torched archrival Ateneo de Manila High School to start the season, he made another introduction last Saturday.
Staying true to his calling card as a scoring dynamo, the gunslinger bombed down 41 points, built on seven long-range missiles, in an efficient 14/29 mark from the field. It only made it even more poignant that he did it against Far Eastern University-Diliman – a program long-known for developing high-scoring guards.
With a couple of 40-point outbursts under his belt, is there even any doubt why new De La Salle University head coach Aldin Ayo made it his top priority to secure the services of their program’s brightest prospect?