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Phoenix owner Dennis Uy says reports of him being La Salle's new patron 'untrue'

Balti Baltazar will be carrying the fight for the Green Archers this year. Jade Moya (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Dennis Uy denied that he will be the new major backer of La Salle's basketball squad in the UAAP.

"The rumors of yours truly taking over as the new patron of the De La Salle Green Archers basketball team are untrue," Uy, who is bankrolling the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA, said in a statement on Saturday night.

Uy is a La Salle alumnus himself, graduating with a business management degree in the said university in 1993, and that makes him a prime candidate to give the Green Archers major help especially in finances.

In fact, a report by business website Bilyonaryo on Friday claimed that Uy taking over the team is now a done deal.

However, he insisted, "While I am certainly a proud alumnus of the De La Salle University and an avid fan and supporter of basketball, I have never been formally approached about leading the basketball program of my alma mater."

Regardless of who will back the team beginning this year, Uy vowed, "As an alumnus and a fan, I will continue to cheer 'Animo' together with the whole La Sallian community."

The Archers were suddenly on a lookout for their new patron after Danding Cojuangco stepped down as their backer after their UAAP season last year, in which they failed to enter the playoffs for the second straight time despite having a talented lineup led by one-and-done transfer player Jamie Malonzo, Andrei Caracut, rookie Encho Serrano, and the vastly improved Balti Baltazar.

Caracut has since turned pro, joining Alab Pilipinas in the ABL, while Malonzo gears up for his own pro stint beginning with Marinerong Pilipino in the semi-pro PBA D-League, leaving Serrano and Baltazar to lead the way for La Salle, which is now handled by new head coach Derrick Pumaren.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno