EXPECT a Pampanga invasion for De La Salle from here on.
Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda disclosed he’s bringing his vast pool of talent from the province to the Taft-based school because of his friendship with the school's top patron Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco.
“Through Boss Danding, tulong lang sa mga players, nagpapahanap ng players,” said Pineda. who was spotted sitting beside Cojuangco at ringside on Saturday during the Green Archers’ game against the University of the East Warriors in the Filoil Premier Cup preseason tournament in San Juan.
The son of Pampanga governor Lilia Pineda is credited for discovering the likes of Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, and Ronald Pascual, who won a championship with San Sebastian during Pineda's time as the Stags' patron.
The triumvirate popularly known as the ‘Pinatubo Trio’ are all now in the PBA, where they’ve won championships right in their rookie years, with Abueva even earning Rookie of the Year honor with Alaska in 2012.
Unlike with the Stags, Pineda has no role with La Salle in his return to college basketball.
“Si Boss Danding pa rin po (ang team patron). Tulungan lang dahil magkakaibigan. Si Boss Danding kasi kaibigan,” said Pineda, who has also brought talents from Pampanga to Far Eastern University in the past, including former MVP Arwind Santos.
This early, Pineda has already brought two of his talents to La Salle in Larry Muyang and Daryl Pascual, both of whom are already eligible to play this season.
Pineda said he is happy Muyang and Pascual are part of the Green Archers squad.
“Nag-improve naman ho sila at masaya ako na nasa La Salle sila. Naaalagaan ‘yung mga bata sa pag-aaral. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, disiplina ang kailangan,” he said.
Pineda added he hopes to have more Kapampangans playing for the Green Archers in the near future following his renewed partnership with Cojuangco.
“Meron kaming mga lumaban sa Palarong Pambansa,” said Pineda, referring to the Central Luzon team that settled for the silver medal to National Capital Region in the boys basketball finals of the Palaro held in Davao Del Norte recently.
“Papakita ko kay coach (Juno Sauler) dahil baka may magustuhan sila for reserve kasi three years from now, walang mga graduates dahil sa K-12,” said Pineda.
“First priority sila,” he added.