La Salle de Zobel Junior Archers had a shot at the UAAP junior basketball glory, but when a top caliber team like the Nazareth School of NU Bullpups is blocking the way, things will eventually go south.
And when final buzzer sounded in Game 3, indeed, it went south for the Alabang squad but Zobel head coach Boris Aldeguer believed his boys accomplished a lot this season after managing to march in the finals.
“The boys have nothing to be ashamed of, nobody thought na aabot kami sa finals actually. We’re gonna keep our heads up and hats off to NU, they really showed how dominant team they are, congratulations to them,” Aldeguer told FOX Sports.
The Zobel squad seemingly overachieved this year after breezing past defending champion Ateneo Blue Eaglets in their semifinal match-up, while denying the Bullpups a season sweep via a Game 2 upset in the finals.
Aldeguer will sorely miss the services of reigning MVP Aljun Melecio, who has been the focal point of the Junior Archers’ offense.
“I wished him all the best, of course I thank him for 4 years na nasa Zobel siya, lahat ng alam niya sa basketball natutunan niya sa Zobel,” shared Aldeguer. “I’m proud na he got this team this far and wished him luck sa college.”
With the Bukidnon native transferring to Taft campus for college, Aldeguer, the man who groomed him in his stay in Zobel, has some words for Melecio.
“He’s gonna have to get used sa physicality ng college basketball. At the same time, he has to develop yung point guard skills na kasama since marami na siyang magaling na kasama,” said Aldeguer.
“Di naman siya kalakihan, I think he will improve more in the point guard spot, which means facilitating, creating for your teammates, kasi yung points nandyan na yan, he can score anytime,” he added.
Aldeguer, who will also lose 9 players aside from Melecio this season, hinted on the possibility of recruiting a big man next year after failing to control Bullpups’ twin tower Justine Baltazar and John Lloyd Clemente in the championship series.
“It really showed here against NU, in all positions talagang mismatch kami. That’s the plan, if we want to get back in the finals and win a championship, we need to have a big man.” said Aldeguer.
“Ewan ko nga, nawalan kami ng big for 6 years. The last big man that we had was Arnold Van Opstal, when he left, wala na kaming makuhang big man, we’ve been short handed the past 5 years.” – By Jason Mercene
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