DE La Salle coach Juno Sauler has made a conscious effort to give his rookies the opportunity to shine in the preseason.
He likes what he's seeing so far.
Andrei Caracut and the Green Archers' greenhorns are making the most of the preseason playing time given them by Sauler who wants to fast-track their development in time for the UAAP wars.
“Slowly, the rookies are getting there,” Sauler, a coach known for his stoic mien and understated quotes, said.
Sauler has sacrificed the playing time of his stars to give enough exposure not only to Caracut but also to fellow rookies Jollo Go and Enzo Navarro. Joshua Torralba and Daryl Pascual are also making their Filoil Cup debut for the Green Archers after taking up residency.
Even Thomas Torres, who missed most of last season due to an injury, has not seen as much action as Sauler gives his new boys a chance to get a feel of the college game to hasten the maturity process.
Caracut, a standout from San Beda's junior team, has been the one standing out, averaging 18.5 points and making a total of eight three-pointers in the two games he has played for the Green Archers in the tournament.
Against Lyceum on Wednesday, La Salle's five rookies combined for 49 points in a 90-69 win over the Pirates with Caracut, Torralba, and Go ending up as the Green Archers' top three scorers.
“We are trying to give them minutes in the game. Even third-year guard Thomas Torres, who could have played, sacrificed his minutes for the young guys like Renzo and Jollo so that everyone can get the feel of things," said Sauler.
Despite the impressive performances, however, Sauler refuses to be carried away.
When asked about Caracut’s impressive showing, Sauler answered: “Sana hindi lang si Andrei. Sana lahat impressive.”