Luis Pablo was saddened that his final year with La Salle Green Hills did not have the fairy tale ending the Greenies wanted on Thursday.
LSGH could not overcome the Letran High School storm, bowing 61-77 to get swept in the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball Finals.
But as his high school career ends, Pablo is ready to take on a new challenge, baring that he is committed to studying at and playing for University of the Philippines.
“Yun po kasi, naniniwala ako sa program ni Coach Gold (Monteverde). Nung nag-usap kami, alam ko mahihirapan ako pero alam ko pong maggro-grow ako as a player at mas mapu-push niya ako as a player,” said the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball MVP, who averaged 17.64 points, 13.36 rebounds, 1.93 assists, and 1.21 blocks in the tournament.
“Alam ko marami pa akong weaknesses sa totoo lang at naniniwala ako sa program niya.”
Standing at 6-foot-8, Pablo hopes to help fill the shoes that was left by Carl Tamayo. And he knows that he will need some help.
Seven Gagate and Joshua Coronel, also from La Salle Green Hills, have yet to fully commit to UP.
“Wala pa po, hindi pa kami nakapili. Pero pipiliin namin yung school kung saan alam namin kung saan kami maggro-grow,” said the 6-foot-8 Gagate, who normed 15.64 points, 12.88 rebounds, and 1.71 blocks this season.
“Sa ngayon, ayoko pa munang magsalita since hindi pa tapos yung season. Sa amin siyempre, we are still in La Salle. To pay respect to our alma mater, alam namin interest din sa amin yung La Salle so probably we will give them a chance to talk to us. We will see after high school,” added Coronel, a 6-foot-4 guard who had to miss his final year with LSGH due to an ACL tear he sustained during their buildup to the season.
The trio though hopes to be together in college as they have already gone through so many wars together.
Prior to the NCAA season, the three were also part of the Gilas Youth team that competed in the 2022 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship.
Playing in college together is one of their dreams.
“Siyempre maganda kasi matagal na kami magkasama, may chemistry na. Ang problema na lang is paano kami mag-grow sa panibagong sistema,” opined Gagate.
“Basta magkasama kaming tatlo, automatic na yung chemistry namin. Kumbaga kahit hindi kami magsama ng isang taon tapos maglaro kami, alam pa rin namin yung kaya naming gawin,” seconded Pablo.
“Siyempre, we’ve played in different levels na together. Kumbaga, for us three, it’s big na nakapaglaro na kami san-san which will be helpful in the future,” Coronel closed.