I would venture to say that if results are the barometer, the Green Archer program has been the most successful since joining the UAAP in the 80's. It was always a big surprise if they did not make it to the finals each and every year. The other schools would take turns getting there, UST, FEU, ADMU got their share of titles but it was almost always DLSU that they had to beat. Heck, I wouldn't be writing about this very topic if this was happening to another team.
What would be the main reason for this sudden change in elite status? All of a sudden, the swagger is gone?
In my opinion, they've blown it in recruitment for about two years. As they watched other schools convince blue chip high school players from 2-3 years ago, they are paying the price as their veterans right now are not as talented. The board might have had a little to do with it. Remember the Fil-Foreigner residency rule of 2 years? The Archers used to rely heavily on Fil Foreigners recruited by their extensive network abroad. Don Allado, Mon Jose, Mike Cortez, Calijohn Orfrecio, Manny Ramos are some players who made an impact off the top of my head. La Salle did not adjust well right away.
Basketball is still a player's sport. I think 70% of your chances lie in the talent you have. The other 30% comes from coaching and chemistry. They used to get the PBA caliber recruits. Limpot, Webb, Telan, Allado, Cortez, Ritualo, Espinosa, Cardona, Aldeguer and a host of others made sure the green and white was a title contender. Now, the other schools have been able to snatch the best from the last few years.
La Salle has had good recruiting classes the last 2 years but it will take another year or two before those players can become among the elite in the UAAP. So for now, the void in not being able to recruit the best from 3-4 years ago has caught up with them. I think the coaching staff and the alumni care too much and are smart enough not to make this linger for longer than 1 or at most 2 years.
So far, it has been obvious that DLSU has gotten very much used to winning and many are uncertain how to react to all this losing.