Unstoppable Evan Nelle and La Salle continue to dominate after Finals victory in UAAP
La Salle Green Archers reach UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals. Evan Nelle keeps focus on achieving the championship.
“Bittersweet, I guess? I don’t know. I’m just focusing on the now, not the past few seasons, I’m staying in the moment. I’m actually excited, but we have to control our emotions for the Finals. A lot can still happen so we have to prepare,” said Nelle after La Salle demolished National University, 97-73, in their Final Four clash on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The graduating La Salle guard battles top seed University of the Philippines in the best-of-three Finals starting on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena, 6 p.m. And he is eager to make the most of his first and last UAAP Finals appearance.
“We’re happy, but we’re not contented. We got a big challenge up ahead against UP, so we’ll stay grounded and prepare for Wednesday,” said Nelle.
After a heartbreaking Season 84 Final Four loss to UP and missing the semifinals last season when La Salle lost in a playoff to Adamson, Nelle delivered 15 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and two steals to extend the Green Archers’ winning streak to nine games and end the school’s six-year Final drought.
Nelle is excited to face UP guard JD Cagulangan, who will be manning the point for the Fighting Maroons. In their upcoming chess match, Nelle vows to continue executing their plays for his teammates Kevin Quiambao, Mark Nonoy, and Mike Phillips.
“Siya na naman no? I’ve played against him since high school. Someone asked me a while ago who was I excited to play against in the Final Four, I said JD. I haven’t played against him this whole season, so it’s gonna be a tough matchup,” Nelle said. “When I play him, pautakan kami. He knows how to control the pace, how to control the game, I just got to match his effort or maybe even do more.”