For the DLSU Green Archers, the off-season had mostly been about reloading.

Yes, seniors such as Evan Nelle, Ben Phillips, Mark Nonoy, and Joaqui Manuel all used up their playing years, but they added transfers Jacob Cortez, Kean Baclaan, Andrei Dungo, and most recently, Luis Pablo. In fact, the likes of Mur Alao, Henry Agunanne, and Vhoris Marasigan are set to join the defending UAAP champions this season.

Then a few days ago, news of Jonnel Policarpio leaving the Green Archers broke. But just as many were absorbing that development, word then got out that Policarpio was reconsidering his departure and eventually, he was confirmed to be staying.

The quick turn of events surely had many asking what really went on between Policarpio and La Salle. Maybe he was set to leave. Maybe he wasn’t. In any case, some things are not meant to be discussed in public, as they can be misconstrued and thus blown out of proportion. The public may never get to find out about what really went on, but one thing is for certain: Policarpio is sticking with DLSU.

Policarpio had a solid rookie season with the Green Archers, averaging 6.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 16 games. The former Mapua Red Robin’s unique blend of size and skill made him a tough matchup against smaller wings and slower big men.


Though he had a slow start to his UAAP Season 86 campaign, Policarpio got better as the season went on and it was harder for La Salle head coach Topex Robinson to leave him on the bench. In the finals against the UP Fighting Maroons, Policarpio was one of the key contributors that ended DLSU’s seven-year title drought.

In Season 87, Policarpio is expected to take on a bigger role not just in scoring, but also in terms of rebounding and on defense. He showed flashes of his ability on that end, with his double-doubles coming during those moments he had to take on bigger roles in the frontcourt. The likes of reigning MVP Kevin Quiambao and Michael Phillips will, of course, continue to lead the team, but the biggest ask from Policarpio will be in leading by example when the need arises.

If DLSU wins back-to-back UAAP titles, Policarpio’s offseason story will be a footnote gently tucked in at the bottom of their story. A disappointing exit, though, will reignite conversations surrounding him and the team. For now, though, everyone can breathe and focus on what will likely be a tougher campaign ahead.

The uncertainty surrounding Jonnel Policarpio and the DLSU Green Archers was quicker than spelling out De La Salle University. With that out of the way, the Green Archers will look to integrate everyone now that they have the targets on their backs.