ROOKIE head coach Juno Sauler is certainly not a superstitious man. Otherwise he wouldn't have gone for 13 players in his lineup this season.
The recently-promoted coach has gone against the norm and consequently drawn some flak by submitting a lineup of only 13 players in this UAAP season, three less than the maximum allowed under league rules.
Hired three weeks prior to the opening of the season to replace Gee Abanilla, the former head coach of the school's women’s and juniors teams admitted that he has been questioned and even criticized for not fillling the full lineup in case the need arises in the next game.
The new coach made it clear that only the 13 players are deserving to be in the Green Archers lineup.
“The real reason is that those who can play are the ones who are worthy (to be) in the lineup,” said Sauler. “Mamaya naman, may hindi naman worth it because hindi nag-papractice or whatever reason.”
“It’s 13 because definitely I won’t be using 16 players. I’m not sure in the first four games if there are seven other teams who used 16 players… I’m sure (other teams) have their own reasons,” Sauler said.
But aside from La Salle, only UE filled less than the maximum with 15 in the lineup.
Sauler said that there is no need to fill all the slots, because even some of his active players don’t get to play in certain games.
A good example, Sauler said, was the Green Archers’ first game against University of Santo Tomas on Saturday where he only used nine players in the rotation. That included rookie Robert Bolick and Jarelan Tampus, who only played late in overtime when La Salle went on a fouling spree in trying to mount a comeback.
“Imagine mo, 13 na lang ako, nine nga lang nagamit ko last game. Si Tampus and Bolick, two and one minute or so lang. What if I had 16, mas marami pa akong na-bench kesa nagamit?” said Sauler.
“Hindi naman ako maglalagay just for the sake of having 16,” Sauler said.
In the roster for this season are Robert Bolick, Luis de la Paz, Kib Montalbo, Jason Perkins, Luis Revilla, Gabriel Reyes, Matthew Salem, Jarelan Tampus, Jeron Teng, Thomas Torres, Norbert Torres, Arnold Van Opstal, and Almpnd Vosotros.
Out of the lineup is Yutien Andrada, who will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL injury. Papot Paredes, who played in the preseason, left the team to concentrate on his studies and prepare for a stint in the PBA D-League.