CALL this one a change in jungle setting – from a roaring Red Lion to a hunting Green Archer.
San Beda University ace playmaker Evan Nelle confirmed yesterday that he is leaving the Lions’ lair and is set to move to La Salle.
Nelle, who actually played for La Salle Zobel in grade school, said he wants to try out other things.
“I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to continue to spread my wings,” he said in a statement.
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez also confirmed that his prized ward has left the squad.
“Yes, he came to practice this morning to personally bid farewell to the whole team,” Fernandez told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
The 5-foot-10 Nelle was rumored to be leaving the Lions after he missed the team’s practices last week.
In his sophomore season with San Beda the last NCAA wars, Nelle wound up as runner-up to teammate Calvin Oftana in the MVP race and made it to the Mythical team.
He averaged 10.2 points and a league-best 6.7 rebounds per game for the then four-peat-seeking Lions, who swept the elimination round but bowed to an All-Filipino Letran in three grueling games in the Big Dance.
Nelle, 21, will have to redshirt in NCAA Season 96 set to kick off in July and serve the league’s required one-year residency. Without Nelle, the Mendiola-based five will rely on the likes of reigning MVP Calvin Oftana, Fil-Canadian James Canlas, JB Bahio, Kemark Carino, and Damie Cuntapay in its bid to regain the crown.
Nelle’s arrival will certainly boost the Green Archers as he is expected to take over the spot of Aljun Melecio next year.
Veteran tactician Derrick Pumaren took over at La Salle’s helm, replacing strategist Gian Nazario and active consultant Jermaine Byrd last Jan. 7. – Michael Jugado