After De La Salle University survived University of Santo Tomas’ challenge, Evan Nelle and Nic Cabañero shared a quick chat.
Both were part of San Beda’s juniors’ basketball program before.
Nelle won two NCAA juniors championships for the Red Cubs while winning it all in his rookie year at the seniors level with the Lions.
After six years with San Beda, he moved to the UAAP, going to Taft with the Green Archers.
On the other hand, Cabañero first played high school hoops with Ateneo de Cebu before transferring to the Red Cubs, suiting up in NCAA Season 95.
He then jumped ship to UST High School in 2020 but the pandemic stopped him from playing.
“Just continue to work hard. This is his league next year,” shared Nelle of what they talked about after the match.
“He’s been putting up MVP numbers. I told him he just needs to continue what he’s doing.”
The 5-foot-10 playmaker then continued to talk about how the 19-year-old Growling Tiger responded.
Cabañero is aware of his weaknesses and is looking to improve them before next season.
“He said he needs to work on his leadership. At least he knows what he needs to do. And he said, he’ll take the league by storm,” said Nelle.
“Syempre isa si Kuya Evan sa hinahangaan ko way back sa San Beda pa kami,” said the 6-foot-2 Cebuano scorer.
“Natouch ako sa sinabi niya. Challenge ko na rin sa sarili ko na hindi lang it’s about me, gusto kong ma-involve yung mga teammates ko, gusto kong as a team aangat kami, hindi lang puro ako.”
Cabañero only averaged 2.84 assists in 13 games played this Season 85 where UST finished dead last at 1-13. They ended their campaign with the loss against La Salle.
Come next year, he’s looking to be more of an all-around player than just being a go-to-scorer of the Tigers.
“Gusto ko mas mainvolve ko yung mga teammates ko. Gusto ko not only scoring, gusto ko may assists din ako, may rebounds din ako,” said Cabañero.
“Yun ang laging sinasabi sa akin ni Coach Bal [David] na keep involving your teammates kaya every game, nagaadjust ako.”