MANILA, Philippines – Former Adamson Soaring Falcons recruit Tyrus Hill said he felt like he had to “move on” when he decided to make the jump to De La Salle University Green Archers.
“I just felt like, me, as a player, it was just getting tough in my position at Adamson and I just felt like I had to move on and see what my other options were,” Hill said in an exclusive interview with Rappler on Saturday, April 21, at the San Juan Arena.
Hill’s decision to leave Adamson irked the Soaring Falcons coaching staff.
The San Jose, California native explained that after deciding to leave Adamson, he had plans of returning to the United States before a familiar face persuaded him to instead move to Taft.
“I was intentionally supposed to go home, and then the recruiter from La Salle two years ago hit me up saying, ‘Ty, do you want to re-consider this, do you want to re-think your options again?’
“I just gave it a little thinking, talked to my parents and see if that’s a good option for me right now since I’m still young, and they were like, ‘go for it, you might as well stay there, you made your name, you’re doing so well. Just have fun with it.’”
Hill and teammate Kurt Lojera, another San Jose product, were spotted around DLSU’s campus early in April which sparked news of the two moving to La Salle. Not long after, an image of both former Falcons wearing Green Archers gear started to spread on social media.
“It’s something we had to make together because that’s like my best friend out here,” Hill said about the decision of both players to move together. Before committing to Adamson in 2016, Hill and Lojera also considered De La Salle.
“We came here, we trained so hard, and this is where we’re supposed to end up so they called us both. They were like, ‘Come on down, we really want you back ASAP.’”
Photo from GoArchers Sports' Twitter account @GoArchers
After Hill confirmed the transfer to DLSU, Adamson assistant coach Don Allado blasted him on social media for reportedly lying to his old team.
“He lied to us,” Allado tweeted at the time. “Said he was going San Jose State, a D1 school. With 4 pts a game ave?! Head coach of that school called me & said I don’t know this F*UCKING TYRUS. Tell him to stop using my program!” . G’luck to him.”
“[It] really doesn’t bother me,” was Hill’s reaction when queried about Allado’s statement. “It’s his opinion, and if people follow his opinion, that’s up to them. I’m really a nice guy. People know that, so it’s okay.”
After losing reigning MVP Ben Mbala, the Rivero Brothers, and head coach Aldin Ayo following the last UAAP season, La Salle gave spectators a first glimpse into the program’s new era under Louie Gonzales on Saturday with an 82-79 victory over the UP Maroons on the opening day of the Filoil preseason tournament.
Hill and Lojera will serve residency for transferring this season, then is expected to make their DLSU debuts in 2019.
“This is a new team so we’re all starting from scratch. We’re trying to build a family thing now instead of everyone knowing La Salle by Ben [Mbala]. Now it’s brand new,” he said, before later adding:
“Hopefully next season we can get a championship too. There’s going to be hype.”
But despite looking forward to the new stage of his career, Hill is also grateful for his time with Adamson.
“I miss them, I love them, they’re fun, they’re energetic. That’s the biggest thing that pumped me up there in games. But sometimes, life moves on. You have to make opportunities, and you have to grab those opportunities.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity from coach Franz [Pumaren], a great coach. Adamson, love them. Hopefully next season is going to be even bigger than I made last year,” said Hill, who averaged 4.0 points and 2.4 boards a game last year.
When asked what he would like to tell Coach Franz, Hill responded:
“I apologize, coach, but I guess it’s time for a new Tyrus to come into UAAP now.” – Rappler.com