It started with a split from the line by Kib Montalbo. He then picked the pocket of an opposing player before throwing a long pass to Jeron Teng for a fastbreak lay-up. Jason Perkins nailed a jumper near the left baseline, and Almond Vosotros followed it up with a floater that rattled in.
The Green Archers were in the midst of a searing run against the UP Fighting Maroons, and by the time Gelo Vito knocked down a jumper at the 1:19 mark of the opening period to break the scoring drought for UP, La Salle had scored a staggering 17 unanswered points, and their advantage had swelled to 14.
Fuelled by a blistering start and a season-high performance from Teng, the Green Archers cruised to their fourth straight win in the 77th Season of the UAAP against the Fighting Maroons, 74-53, earlier today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The win improves their win-loss record to 4-2 after they started the season with back-to-back losses. Teng finished with a double-double for the Archers, scoring a game-high 25 points on an efficient 10-for-16 shooting clip, while adding 11 boards in 21 minutes of play. Almond Vosotros, meanwhile, broke out of his shooting slump and added 15 points, making six of his 11 shots (including a 3-for-4 showing from beyond the arc) while adding six rebounds and five assists.
Right from the tip-off, La Salle’s intention was clear, and that was to pound the ball down low to their bigs. Montalbo found Norbert Torres in the shaded area for the Archers’ first two points ten seconds into the game, and it didn’t take long for Teng, Perkins, and Vosotros to join in the fray as La Salle turned a slim 5-4 lead into a sizeable 20-4 advantage in the span of about six minutes after their telling run.
Teng was especially aggressive for the Archers after scoring only two points in their previous win against the Adamson Falcons, pouring 20 during the first half on an array of drivers, put-backs, jumpers, and even a three-pointer as La Salle entered the break added by 26, 50-24. La Salle’s lead was at its biggest at 30 during the third canto, the last at 62-32 after a two-for-two trip at the free-throw line by rookie Prince Rivero, although UP was able to chip away at this lead as the game wore on.
The Maroons actually had a better second half, outscoring the Archers 29-24 and allowing La Salle to score only 10 points in the final period, but the lead was simply too big for them to overcome. The team’s strong start allowed Coach Juno Sauler to eventually field all of his players in the contest. Norbert Torres, who did not see action for La Salle in their last game against Adamson, netted only six points but hauled 13 rebounds and had five dimes, while fellow starter Jason Perkins, Abu Tratter, and Prince Rivero also added six points apiece for the Archers.
The Archers shot a torrid 63% during the first half and finished with a 45% showing from the field compared to UP’s cold 23% shooting clip. The Archers controlled the boards 54-47, but yielded 19 offensive boards to UP’s smaller frontline. La Salle also had more assists than the Maroons, 16-5, but had more turnovers 21-14.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao paced the Maroons in scoring with 13, while adding two rebounds and a steal, while Dave Moralde had eight points, four boards, and an assist. Henry Asilum added seven points, two caroms, and a steal for UP, which saw Assistant Coach Ramil Cruz took over the head coaching duties for the Maroons after Head Coach Rey Madrid was slapped with a two-game suspension for comments made against the referees during their previous game against UST.
Notes: Arnold Van Opstal, who was also absent in the Adamson game, did not suit up for the Archers because of an injury to his Achilles tendon.
The Next Game: After stumbling out of the gates, the Green Archers have slowly found their stride and will try to wrap up the first round with a with a win against the UST Growling Tigers in a rematch of last year’s thrilling Finals. The game will be played this Sunday, August 10, 4p.m. at the Mall of Arena
DLSU- 74- Teng-25, Vosotros-15, N. Torres-6, Perkins-6, Rivero-6, Tratter-6, Montalbo-5, Sargent-3, Andrada-2, Bolick-0, Salem-0, Mustre-0
UP – 53-Lao-13, Moralde-8, Asilum-7, Gallarza-6, Reyes-6, Vito-6, Bederi-3, Harris-2, Amar-1, Gingerich-1, Juruena-0, Lim-0
Quarterscores: 26-9, 50-24, 64-40, 74-53