|De La Salle Season Stats|
What I did say?
I predicted a back-to-back for De La Salle.
I was about to look like a prophet when they got into that mid-season swoon racking up win after win even without a true point guard directing traffic and last year’s Most Improved Player being a Swiss cheese on defense. Get this, their starting “point” guard put up a measly 4.4 ppg and 1.4 apg though he shot fairly well from the field at a 43.9 percent clip. Still, that’s a black hole on offense AND defense. But they still got a 10-4 record!
Who would’ve thought that Jeron Teng would evolve into a monster two games into the season though? Definitely not me. But we’ll get into that later.
Perkins getting Monstar-ed
This made life undeniably harder for La Salle. See, Jason Perkins was their most talented guy on the floor. Here’s a four who has range up to the three-point line, has handles to pick you off the deck, footwork to plaster you in the paint… man does he have it all.
And man did he disappear in such ugly fashion.
You might say a year where you averaged 10.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 44.1 percent from the field is a great year already for a stacked team. But check this out, Perk averaged 12.7 ppg, 9.6rpg, 1.7apg while shooting at a blistering 52.6 percent from downtown and 52.8 percent from the floor overall. Dude, we’re dealing with a down year here. He had games wherein he was a total non-factor, adding more load on Jeron’s shoulders. That spelled doom on the Archers’ campaign.
Jeron going bananas
Next to Kiefer Ravena’s stat line of 21-5-5, Jeron Teng was an ungodly 14-7-4. This is an absolute turnaround for Teng. He wasn’t passing the ball really well his first years at La Salle. But… this? This is unfair.
He’s already built like a tank, has an uncanny balance that enables him to still get a shot off when thrown off, and now he can drop dimes? Dude, we’re dealing with a transcendent case here. I can’t wait for next year. Maybe he’ll be on a JC Intal level. Y’know, dropping 17-7-5 a game.
Nope. Not even reaching his ceiling.
Now that’s scary.
Where do we go from here?
Well, Norbert Torres finally moves on after a great year. Kib Montalbo did not do anything significantly to warrant something close to a must-watch next year, Arnold Van Opstal regressed mightily as well…man, the only hope I have is Julian Sargent.
He’ll be a major player the way Oda Tampus, Bader Malabes and Hyram Bagatsing never were. Come on. The guy can obviously score in bursts, defend so well and provide some semblance of guard play Montalbo cannot. I can’t say the same for Abu Tratter since well uhm, he’s limited to one good play whenever he’s thrown in followed by five straight boo-boos.
Where does La Salle go from here?
I don’t see them losing a step as they gun for another title next year. If Jason Perkins can rediscover himself and Thomas Torres provide very well with at least eight and five dimes a game? That should be enough to help Jeron Teng bag his second UAAP crown.
But for now, this was not a bad season for La Salle. They were just one stop away from a return trip to the Finals after all.