ARMED with an exciting core of holdovers and three one-and-done players, La Salle entered the UAAP season with heightened expectations.
But the ballers from Taft hardly lived up to the billing, losing four of their first six games including a sorry loss to University of the Philippines.
Aljun Melecio, however, hopes the Green Archers have turned the corner after ending the first-round of the eliminations with a 92-77 win over University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.
"Napagod na kaming matalo," said the 5-foot-8 sniper.
Melecio, more than anyone else, had every reason to want a victory over UST. It was his ill-advised pass which Juan Gomez de Liano intercepted before hitting the game-winning trey in the Maroons' 72-71 win over La Salle last September 25.
"Syempre, sinisisi ko sarili ko doon," he said in retrospect. "As a veteran, di na pwedeng magawa yung ganoong turnover. For sure, naging learning experience yun for me."
What a way for Melecio to rebound, shooting 26 points on a 6-of-9 clip from beyond the arc while also dishing out five assists in the conquest of the Growling Tigers.
"Lumalabas lang talaga kung ano yung wino-work out mo. Extra work lang yun and swerte na lumabas yung laro ko," he said.
Melecio now hopes the second round brings more luck for La Salle as it aims to return to the Final Four.
"Hopefully, madala namin yung confidence sa second round," Melecio said. "Yung team namin, di mo alam kung sino ang puputok dahil kahit sino pwede, kaya mahirap kaming bantayan."