After the Green Archers’ tune up game against the University of Perpetual Help Altas this past Saturday at the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center, I took the chance to sit down and talk to Almond Vosostros and Jeron Teng to get a feel of the team’s mood and frame of mind at this point of the season.
Starting off by asking about their assessment of the team’s performance in the first round, Jeron wasted no time in touching on the two losses that caused a lot of unsettling feelings among supporters: “We did decent in the first round, except in the fourth quarter we didn’t sustain our momentum. Like in the games against FEU and UE we led… We can’t stop, we have to finish strong. We’ve been working at it. Masakit yung pagkatalo sa close games na yun, and hopefully we’ll do better next time.”
Almond added: “Okey naman kami nung first round, di lang namin alam pano tapusin yung game…wala pa dun e. Sobrang dami naming natutunan sa mga pagkatalo na yun. Ngayong 2nd round sisiguraduhin namin na hindi na mangyayari yun.”
When I asked them if they read all the criticism being thrown around, especially after losses, Jeron admits that he can’t avoid them especially since he’s active on social media: “Pag natatalo dun lumalabas lahat, may sinisilip talaga. I just use the negative criticism as motivation because it makes me realize there are aspects of the game I need to improve on. That’s what motivates me to work even harder because I have something to prove to them.”
He also touched on the chemistry of the team under coach Juno Sauler’s system: “We have great leaders, especially the veterans, LA, Norbert, Almond, not only on the court but off the court…and they really lead the team, especially the rookies and sophomores, they teach us… coach Juno is really strict with his system, there are certain rules on offense and defense we have to follow. So very systematic talaga.”
Almond even went as far as saying that since his rookie year, this season stands out for him the most in terms of the team’s bonding and the system they play under.
Jeron affirmed that all the players staying in one dorm significantly helped in how the team has bonded: “Ngayon na naka-dorm yung team, you can expect that we’ll stick with each other no matter what.” He also added the invaluable presence of the team management: “They’ve been very supportive through our ups and downs, they keep pushing us to be better. That motivates us more. Kahit nasa baba ka na they help to pull you up, not bring you down more. “
Both also shared similar sentiments saying that the involvement of the team’s supporters during games is a huge motivation, knowing that the Lasallian community is there for them, cheering in spite of losses.
Ending our conversation by asking if they had any message for their supporters, this is what they had to say:
Almond: “Stay positive. Wala pa naman e. Di pa natin alam sino papasok sa final four. We work hard, all of us work hard to win and to win a championship for La Salle.”
Jeron: “In the 2nd round we’ll really give our best. We can’t promise any wins, but we can promise that we’ll give our best.”
After seeing with my own eyes how hard the payers work and are pushed in their practices, which have been held twice a day since the break in between rounds, I know that there is nothing more I can ask from this team and its coaching staff. As much as they know it’s their job to improve and play their hearts out for our alma mater, I realize it is my job to keep supporting them no matter what. From where I was seated during the practices I’ve seen, that seems more than fair to me.