4 Teams make 21st One La Salle Alumni Basketball League debut; Ex-Archers, Blazers shine


By Diego dela Paz - Published January 31, 2019

Four debuting squads - three in the hotly-contested Juniors Division and one in the Seniors Division - highlighted the second day of action at the 21st season of the One La Salle Alumni Basketball League, or OLSABL, last Sunday, Jan. 27, at La Salle Green Hills.

Reigning Seniors MVP Aga Agapito fired 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting to pace Batch 1987 to a 78-53 rout of Batch 1989 in the Seniors Division. Glenn Alatraca and Rafa Dinglasan added 15 and 13, respectively, for the debuting victors. Dax Bulaon finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for 1989, which has yet to win in two matches.

In other seniors contests, Batch 1986 trounced Batch 1988, 115-51; while Batch 1992 edged Batch 1990, 71-70. Both Batch 1986 and Batch 1992 lead the division with two wins in as many games, while Batch 1988 and Batch 1990 joined Batch 1989 in the cellar.

Ex-De La Salle Green Archers Simon Atkins, together with sharpshooting Martin Reyes paced the defending champions One Love five past Batch 2016, 80-72, in one of the juniors division contests in the day. Reyes finished with 22 points, including five triples, while Atkins tallied 21 points with a whopping 16 assists and seven steals in the match.

Team Animo sparkled in its debut contest, behind last year' gunner Ian Dela Paz’s 30 points and 12 rebounds outing, to drub Centennial Batch via an 83-63 count. He and reigning MVP Martin Reyes will boost the team's campaign in this 21st season. In the other juniors match, ex-Benilde Blazer Jelo Montecastro powered Gerry’s Grill with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals, as the squad bounced back from a tough opening day loss with a 91-74 victory over Batch 2018.

2013 & Friends, One Love, Team Animo and Batch 2010 all share the early lead with 1-0 records in the tightly-contested Juniors Division, followed by Centennial Batch and Gerry’s Grill with 1-1 cards and Batch 2016 and Batch 2018 failing to garner wins in two matches.

In the adults division, LSGH-ANHSAA racked up its second straight win over 1995/1996 in a 85-83 squeaker; Batch 1993 pulled out a 70-67 nailbiter over South OG’s; and Batch 2001 wrested a 64-58 win over Batch 1994 thanks to the services of another ex-Blazer Paolo Orbeta.

Meanwhile, Batch 2005 took out Legacy in over 89-88, to remain unbeaten in the Recreational Division. DLS-CSB 105+, on the other hand, gained a share of the early lead in the bracket after scoring a 77-52 rout of 02 Nyakols; while Batch 2006 made quick work of DLSUxLSGH09, 76-49.

For its 2019 edition, the league renewed its partnership with Kings of the Court with teams rekindling their inner Animo across four divisions - Seniors, Adults, Juniors, and the growing Recreational Division.

A record-high 27 teams will take the floor this year, increasing from 25 teams in 2018 and 15 teams in 2017. For the 11th consecutive time, former La Salle Green Hills mentor Tonichi Pujante took the helm as the commissioner for the league, supported by the La Salle Green Hills Alumni Association, led by President Paul Jacinto. Basketball committee chairman is Mr. Bong Africa, while KOTC's Head of Technical Committee is John Mark Herrera.

Building the name "One La Salle", the initiative is to continuously strengthen relationships between Lasallians all over the country. It foresees other La Salle schools as brothers and embracing the ideology of unity. Games are held every Sunday at the LSGH campus - St. Benilde Gym and/or Fr. Martinez Activity Center (FMAC) - from 1:00pm onwards.