GEE Abanilla sees a promising campaign for De La Salle in the next UAAP men’s basketball season despite losing to bitter rival Ateneo in the Final Four Saturday night.
“I think I just feel na we will have a better season… Our preparation for the next season starts tomorrow,” said Abanilla in the moments that followed the Green Archers’ 63-66 loss to the Eagles at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers were actually one quarter away from extending the defending champions to a winner-take-all showdown after they led by as many as nine points entering the fourth period. They actually led by as many as 11 points.
Unfortunately, the Archers had no answer against Kiefer Ravena, who lit up the scoring for Ateneo in the final quarter on his way to finishing with a career-best 28 points.
“In the end, we didn’t have the experience,” said Abanilla. “Na-outsmart kami noong huli. “We didn’t have an answer for Ravena in this game, pinaulanan kami ng 28 points.”
Abanilla, however, is satisfied with how the way the Green Archers finished the season -- a Final Four appearance and a near upset of the reigning four-time champions.
“Generally speaking, we are happy about the outcome of the season. Coming off a 5-9 win-loss slate and going to the Final Four, the players and the coaching staff did a good job,” said Abanilla.
The Green Archers are optimistic about next year that will see them retaining an intact line-up except for Jovet Mendoza and Joshua Webb.
They are more than upbeat about the new season with the expected support of former ambassador and patron Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco.
“One good thing is that the La Salle community is active once again. If we could continue to have support from the community, I think I foresee a better year.
“We have nothing to be ashamed off. We gave Ateneo a good fight.”