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In return to La Salle, Cholo Villanueva wants to impart winning



Eight years ago, Cholo Villanueva cemented his collegiate basketball legacy as one of the key players to lead the De La Salle University Green Archers to the UAAP Season 70 title.

The Green Archers overcame the University of the East, which went on a 14-0 record, after sweeping them in the finals with Villanueva and JVee Casio being named co-Finals MVP.

In his return to his alma mater, now as a head coach of the La Salle women’s basketball team, Villanueva wants to win again.

“It is good because the college environment is different. Playing in college has a different atmosphere. I am excited (as a coach) but of course you have to prove something. I want to be a winner as a player and as a coach,” he shared.

Villanueva is not rushing things, even if La Salle made the Final Four last season. Losing at least six veterans to graduation and trying to implement a new system, Villanueva says it will be process and he is at the forefront of how how his team will perform in the next few seasons.

“We are in a rebuilding phase. Players in the lineup this year were not used to playing and will be exposed this year. So there is a transition period,” he said.

“This is the first time they are really experiencing the UAAP atmosphere and we are making adjustments.”

Villanueva’s coaching stint was welcomed by a 78-90 setback to defending champion National University although the team has adjusted and won two straight for a 2-1 record so far.

He knows it is a tedious task now, but being in this atmosphere and having the support of the alma mater again fuels his desire to put on a show.

“Being the head coach is different from being the assistant. I am looking at the whole game now and making quick decisions on the fly, quick adjustments,” he shared.

“I am excited and raring to show the La Sallian community on how my team’s identity will perform in the UAAP.”

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