In his first two years with De La Salle University, Evan Nelle’s ride had been full of frustrations.
In Season 85, La Salle altogether missed the post-season festivities after losing in the playoff for the last Final Four ticket against Adamson University.
In his final year in collegiate basketball, it ended with Nelle in tears again. But this time, it’s no heartbreak.
The transferee from San Beda had a storybook ending in his collegiate career, helping La Salle halt its seven-year title drought by toppling UP in three games.
“It’s an unbelievable journey. This one year with them, I wouldn’t trade it for anything talaga,” said the 5-foot-10 floor general on Wednesday after the Green Archers’ 73-69 clincher over the Fighting Maroons.
Nelle’s career in the college ranks, if summed up, would most likely end up in his reputation as someone who dwindles when the moment is the brightest.
That pushed the 24-year-old point guard to move to La Salle, revealing that he felt the anger of then San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez toward him after they failed to defend the championship.
Then followed his first two seasons with the Green Archers where they always fell short of the ultimate goal and the high expectations of the community.
But this year, Nelle was on another level. He made the Mythical Team after averaging 11.31 points, 6.85 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals in the elimination round.
Although he struggled in the field in the whole Finals series, he more than made up for it with his contributions to other categories.
In Game 2, despite having just four points, Nelle grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out 10 assists, and recorded five steals.
In the clincher, he had 12 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals.
“I’ve been through so much ups and downs.
“I didn’t think it would end like this to be honest. We envisioned this but there will be doubts of course after the first round but this man right here, these two guys they always picked me up,” said Nelle, crediting Robinson and his teammates.