Boxing promoter Johnny Elorde and wife Liza were in town to watch the Pacquiao-Mosley fight. In a brief conversation, they mentioned that their son Nico, a La Salle Zobel graduate, has asked for his release from the Green Archers varsity team.
“Nico spoke with coach Dindo (Pumaren) who wanted him to reconsider and sleep over it,” said Liza. “But Nico feels he won’t have a place with the team anymore. Dan Sara was recruited, Simon Atkins is the starter and L. A. Revilla is back so the point guard position is deep. When Ateneo found out about Nico leaving, (team manager) Luigi [sic] Trillo immediately called to ask if he could move. Nico is green-blooded through and through but he wants to play. Ateneo tried to recruit him after high school graduation. Nico decided to stay at La Salle.”
Liza said Nico has enrolled at Ateneo and coach Norman Black will give him the opportunity to crack the lineup. What made Nico decide to leave was Pumaren’s decision to leave him out of the 16-man lineup that he took to Chicago for a training program this summer.
Some background: It is in fact true that Ateneo tried its best to recruit Elorde after high school. The more extreme rumors even had Gwyne Capacio try to recruit ALL of his batchmates, including Elorde and Arnold Van Opstal! That said, aside from Capacio, Elorde was the most likely to go blue, after graduation from DLSZ. Up until March of last year, Elorde was often seen practicing alongside Ateneo's Team A at the Moro Lorenzo Gym. Thus, Blue Eagles fans were a bit surprised when La Salle's roster came out and had him on it.
Elorde was one of the five Green Archers on their Fil-Oil tournament roster who were not included in their US training trip. Also not included were Michael Pate, Aiki Herrera, Martin Reyes, and Louie Vigil.
This is the latest in a series of player movement out of DLSU. Earlier in the summer, development team big man Andrew Harris transferred to sister school CSB, before leaving the Blazers and reportedly trying out at UP. More recently, another development team member, Brian Organ, opted to return to the US.
DLSU projects to have only one graduating player after S74, guard Simon Atkins. They'd still have guys like (current) sophomores Almond Vosotros, Jarelan Tampus, and Luigi Dela Paz, senior Sam Marata, rookie Dan Sara, and the returning LA Revilla, making Elorde's chance at getting minutes slim.
Elorde would have to sit out at the minimum, one year due to establish residency, two if DLSU decides to invoke the Soc Rivera rule (in other words, "disallowing" his transfer).
Should he play in S75, ADMU will be graduating Bacon Austria, Kirk Long and Emman Monfort, three guards, after S74. The Eagles would still have Kiefer Ravena, Juami Tiongson, and Mark Tallo, but that's less than what DLSU has ahead of him.
EDIT #1: Forgot to mention former RP Youth U-18 member Gab Banal switching to MIT and Joel Tolentino jumping to CSB
EDIT #2: Some new information has surfaced since this was first posted: another D-Team member, JR Gallarza, has left the team after supposedly breaking a team rule, and might be UP-bound along with Harris. Michael Pate and Louie Vigil, two other players left off the US trip, have left DLSU as well.