Season Begins for the 20th One La Salle Alumni Basketball League

`

By John Mark Herrera - Published January 25, 2018

The love for Basketball will never fade away, more so, the Animo spirit that lives inside each and every alumni that have once set foot on the Lasallian hardcourt. In its 20th year, the One La Salle Alumni Basketball League will banner 25 teams from different batches and La Salle schools, to strengthen the bond and unity of the green-blooded brotherhood.

The One La Salle Alumni Basketball League(OLSABL) opened its 20th season this past Sunday, January 21, 2018 both at the main court and the center-court of the Saint Benilde Gymnasium inside the La Salle Greenhills campus in Mandaluyong City.

Batch '99 kicked off the action on the main court with a dominating win over batch '94 in the Adults division, 72-56 with former professional basketball player turned politician, Paul Artadi leading the way for his squad. "Kid Lightning" finished with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Center-court thriller: Batch '93 eked out a close win against ANHS, 80-75 behind Cholo Poblete's 22 point-10 rebounds and four assists output, combined with Hubert Delos Santos' five points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists.

                                                                        Former professional Basketball player-turned politician, Paul Artadi of batch 1999.

Center-court action resounded as Bryan Baculi's 26 points and James Candelaria's 13 points-10 assists, helped batch '98 escape with a 77-76 win over the merged '95/'96 squad who got a combined 36 points and 20 rebounds from RJ Manzano and Mike Panganiban in the loss. The rematch of last year's finals, lived up to its hype and thrilled spectators in their opening day clash. 

Batch '98, along with last year's finals MVP, Coach Marvin Bienvenida (an icon for leading LSGH to its first NCAA Jrs. Championship) will look to defend their title. Formerly Known as the 90's division, the bracket is composed of six teams, with batch '99 returning this season to try and reclaim the title after skipping the previous season.

The true essence of the league: Players display camaraderie and sportsmanship as they shook hands after each game.

The 7-team Seniors division began with batch '89 averting a collapse in the final minutes, to hang on and take a 76-70 victory over the hot-shooting batch '88 team, the same foe that they faced in last season's championship game. Noy Falcasantos registered a huge double-double performance of 27 points & 11 rebounds, that went along with two assists and two blocks. Defending champions, Batch '86 managed to hold off batch '87's late rally in the fourth period, to seal the 68-64 win and spoil Aga Agapito's triple-double feat. Former DLSU standout Joey Sta. Maria owned the inside game for '87, coming up with 13 points and 10 rebounds in their victory.

The hyped-up rematch did not disappoint: Rafa Dinglasan's 1987 went neck-and-neck with the defending champions 1986, coming up short by only 4 points, 68-64.

The Seniors division clash continued with Spencer Paredes flexing his might in batch '92's rout of batch '90, winning the game with a convincing 99-60 final score. He finished with a game-high 31 points on 15/20 FG shooting, to go along with six rebounds and five assists.

After the action-packed games for the young once, the young ones took the floor and figured in a thrilling opener as Kier Lorenz Sy swished the game-winning three to complete the comeback win for batch '10, upsetting batch '16 to open the Juniors division. John Boo registered a game-high 23 markers while Raymond Canteras added 21 points for the highly-touted Batch '11, to wrap up the main court action with a dominating 121-73 win over the undermanned '07 team. The near triple-double statline of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists for Alison Carlos, highlighted the win for the stacked team that will surely wreak havoc in their division.

The whole St. Benilde Gym erupted when Kier Lorenz Sy sank the game-winning trey that capped 2010's come-from-behind victory over 2016.

Batch '13 was all business in the final game for the Juniors division, winning over One Love, 73-63 led by Renzo Manalo's 24 points. Enzo Mercado and Miguel Aytona had a combined 21 points and 27 boards between their names in the win. 

The former "2000's division" will not have its defending champions, batch '05/'06, who decided to skip this season, which means that the league will crown a new champion at the end of the tournament for the 7-team bracket.

Chino Cruz' 32 big points and 12 rebounds, powered batch '09 past batch '12 in the lone Recreational division game, 89- 81. Ralph Medrano and Jolo Marchanesch provided valiant efforts from batch 2012, registering 21 and 17 markers respectively in the last game at the center-court, wrapping up the opening day of the league.

2009-B Poses for the camera as they open the Recreational Division on a winning note.

Two decades of unifying and strengthening the relationships between all La Salle Alumni, more teams joined this 20th OLSABL. All brackets will have the classic flavor in their tournament formats, where all teams in their respective divisions will go through a single round-robin eliminations, and will have the top four teams battle in the semis. A team that will sweeps the elims will have a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals. Finals protagonists will face off in a one-game finals to determine the champion.

Heading the prestigious league are Mr. Miguel Fernandez- Chairman of the LSGH Basketball Committee, League Organizer, president and founder of Kings of the Court, Mr. Cholo Legisma, and the legendary coach, Mr. Tonichi Pujante- commissioner of the league.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas(SBP)-sanctioned tournament in cooperation with the La Salle Greenhills Alumni Association(LSGHAA) will last for four months (January- April).