JUNO Sauler has no definite number in mind when he puts together his De La Salle team for the UAAP this season, saying all he ever wants to do is assemble "the best team possible."
Only 14 players made Sauler’s final roster for Season 77, even if UAAP rules allow him to name a maximum 16 players in De La Salle's lineup.
He did the same thing last year with only 13 players making the team, the number proving to be lucky for La Salle as the Green Archers returned to the top of the UAAP.
But why 14 this time? Sauler still offered no explanation.
“I just want to come up with the best team that we can,” was his curt reply.
Sauler said he tried to form the best team possible regardless of the number of players, even if it meant Luigi Dela Paz, Jarelan Tampus, and Gab Reyes being left out of their UAAP lineup.
“Whether it be 12, 15, 16, or even eight. If it’s the best team, then that’s what we will put in the lineup.”
The Green Archers included first-year players either fresh from high school or have completed their residency in Prince Rivero, Julian Sargent, Abu Tratter, and Terence Mustre, son of former PBA player Mike Mustre.
Team insiders offered the idea that last year La Salle patron Danding Cojuangco was the one who requested to have 13 players in the roster as ‘lucky charm’ or ‘pahiyang.’
Sauler didn’t categorically state whether Cojuangco had something to do with the number of players this season.
“Puwede,” Sauler said when asked if 14 is the lucky number this time. “Baka next year, 15 kami.”