La Salle Greenhills, the only “green & white” basketball team still playing this season will be going up against the EAC Brigadiers tomorrow to start the step-ladder semifinals of the NCAA season 87 juniors division. Game time is at 1130AM at the Fil-Oil Flying-V Arena.
The Greenies finished the preliminaries at 3rd with a 13-5 record, just a game ahead of the 4th seeded Brigadiers. Both squads split their elimination round games. If they win tomorrow’s knock-out match, they would next face the Letran Squires, a team they have yet to beat this season. The San Beda Red Cubs are already in the Finals after sweeping the eliminations.
This is just the 4th time that LSGH has made it to the Final 4 since returning to the NCAA in 1998. Their highest finish so far is 3rd place back in 1999 with a team bannered by Mika Vainio, Mike Gavino, Bruce Quebral, Jino Ferrer and Brice Godfried. The last time they made the semis was in 2008 where they finished 4th behind a team led by Mikee Reyes and current Green Archer Martin Reyes.
This year’s team is led by Mario Bonleon (16.8ppg) and Thomas Torres (15.7ppg). Other members of the team include Jon Villaruz, Angelo Vito (RP Under-16 member), Isaiah Laigo, Charles Yap, Andre Paras (son of Benjie Paras), Alexis Barrera, Roel Marcial, Jose Mercado, Andres Sta Clara , Mark Sy, Jose Tesorero, Lorenzo Manzano and Victor Ramilo.
Calling the shots for the first time is Coach John Flores, who once piloted the Ateneo Lady Eagles to two championship seasons in 2005 and 2007. He is assisted by former pro Bennett Palad.