Photo from Dyke's Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – Former UAAP junior’s basketball star Mark Dyke has decided to return to National University after originally committing to play college basketball for the De La Salle University Green Archers.
The return of Dyke, who made a name for himself as a star for NU’s high school basketball team over the past two seasons, was confirmed to Rappler on Friday, June 19, by NU head coach Eric Altamirano.
“Sabi lang niya (he just said) he wanted to come back, yun lang (that’s it). He just felt that he wanted to come back,” Altamirano said.
Dyke told Rappler back on April 2 that he decided to commit to the Green Archers after a successful senior campaign where he averaged 13.4 points and 14.5 rebounds a game and helped lead the NU Bullpups to a second-place finish in the UAAP Season 77 junior’s basketball tournament.
“Nag apologize naman siya (he apologized anyway),” said Altamirano, presumably referring to the circumstances surrounding Dyke’s first choice of leaving NU for DLSU.
“He was man enough to admit yung mistakes niya. Sabi ko lang, syempre, iba na yung situation ngayon. He has to fight for his spot. No assurance. He’s been practicing naman with us na. Medyo naiwan lang siya nang iba.”
(He was man enough to admit his mistakes. I just said, of course, the situation now is different. He’s been practicing with us already. He’s just left behind compared to the others.)
Altamirano respectfully declined to give a comment if the 17-year-old athlete left NU on rocky terms after his original choice to play college basketball for La Salle.
Altamirano, who warned that Dyke’s spot in the Bulldogs’ senior’s UAAP team for 78 is still not assured, also said the 6-foot-2 forward will also have to get in shape.
“When he left La Salle, matagal siya hindi nag practice (he didn’t practice for a while),” said Altamirano, who mentioned Dyke started practicing with the Bulldogs only this week. “Iba na yung pace nung team. Naninibago pa siya. He’s not yet in game shape.”
(The pace of the team is different. He’s still getting used to it.)
“He’s not yet in shape this week, and ngayon lang siya nag pra-practice (he’s only practicing now) so we have no idea yet what he brings to the table.”
Dyke, who finished as the first runner-up in the MVP races of Seasons 75 and 76 of the UAAP junior’s basketball tournament, would be a huge help to NU’s frontline depth with Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin having graduated from the defending champions’ roster.