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Who will be the new ‘King’ Archer?

by Brian Joseph N. Yalung

The La Salle Green Archers are looking to make it back-to-back in UAAP, but the road ahead carries plenty of questions.

DLSU's Ben Mbala drives against UST's Regie Basibas during the UAAP Season 79 game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday. (JOHN JEROME GANZON)

Ben Mbala (mb.com.ph)

Yes, the hulking Ben Mbala will still be around to man the paint but who will step up to support him?

Without Jeron Teng, the Archers need somebody who can deliver at crunch time.

In the ongoing Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, the Archers were far from the well-oiled machine most witnessed during UAAP Season 79.

There is apparently plenty of work to be done for DLSU, including who steps up aside from “Big Ben.”

The current Filoil pre-season tournament should help out in figuring out who those players will be.

Heading into UAAP Season 80, the Archers will need to push their mix of rookies and sophomores to fill in the void left by the likes of Teng, Thomas Torres, Jason Perkins and Julian Sargent.

The answer to that could be from last year’s holdovers.

Returning are Aljun Melecio, Andrei Caracut, Abu Tratter, Justine Baltazar, Jollo Go, Kib Montalbo, Brent Paraiso, Gboy Gob, Prince and Ricci Rivero.

If not from the returning cast, it could come from the new faces selected to plug in the slots open for UAAP Season 80.

That would include the likes of rookie Leonard Santillan, Gabe Capacio, Ramil Tero and transferee Joshua Gonzales.

Melecio is still deadly as ever while Caracut is slowly stepping up as the next go-to-guy for the Archers. Baltazar has been mixing it up while incoming rookie Santillan has been quietly doing his work on both ends of the court.