by Jerome Lagunzad
Perennial UAAP contender La Salle continued its rebuilding process under new coach Louie Gonzalez by acquiring the services of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu standouts Eroll Pastor and Christian Manaytay over the weekend.
The entry of the former Magis Eagles could help the Green Archers in fill up some gaps in the wing positions as Gonzalez tries to help La Salle embrace a new identity following a tumultuous off-season that saw former tactician Aldin Ayo, reigning two-time league MVP Ben Mbala and several vital cogs, led by Ricci Rivero, walk away.
Of the two latest acquisitions who were both presented to chief patron Danding Cojuangco, Pastor could provide an immense help since he is coming off a solid showing in the National Basketball Training Center national championships last month when he helped Ateneo de Cebu reach the semifinal round.
Pastor, thanks to his brilliance on both ends, was also named to the tourney’s Mythical Team, joining the likes of highly-touted Fil-Am Jalen Green of FilAm Sports USA, La Salle-Greenhills guard Joel Cagulangan and Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea of eventual champion National University.
Not to be outdone was the 6-foot-4 Manaytay, who was also been named to the Mythical Team of the CESAFI juniors tournament last year after emerging as the biggest revelation on the Magis Eagles’ bridesmaid finish.
Manaytay was previously linked to join Adamson, which already secured the commitment from former Batang Gilas member and ex-Magis Eagles star Jed Colonia, a two-time CESAFI juniors MVP winner.
Another Magis Eagles vital cog who is set to try his luck in Manila is Patrick Wilson Yu, who will be teaming up with his elder brother Dave Wilson at the Bulldogs’ camp under second-year tactician Jamike Jarin.
The Bulldogs have also made a string of big moves during the recruitment period by adding former Bullpup reliable Robert Minerva, a lanky 6-foot-5 wingman who’s set to join the likes of fellow newcomers John Lloyd Clemente, John Galinato, Dave Ildefonso, Migs Oczon and Mapua transferee Darrel Menina.
Tags: Aldin Ayo, Ateneo de Cebu, Ben Mbala, Christian Manaytay, Danding Cojuangco, Eroll Pastor, Jed Colonia, La Salle, Louie Gonzalez, Magis Eagles, National Basketball Training Center, Patrick Wilson Yu, Ricci Rivero, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu