In their first meeting, the storm came in the form of a barrage of three-pointers, seven in all, unleashed in the third quarter by guys like Louie Vigil and Kyle Suarez.
This time, it was Ed Daquioag barrelling his way to the hoop. It was Kevin Ferrer nailing tough, off-balance jumpers after going cold for three quarters. It was Karim Abdul muscling his way inside. This storm came early in the fourth period, and in a flash, La Salle’s lead was brought down like a wall of sand.
But the Green Archers still had their chances. With the Tigers up four and less than a minute remaining, Thomas Torres was left wide open for a three. The ball went in but eventually rattled out. La Salle was forced to foul, but the Tigers couldn’t make their free throws. The door for a comeback remained open.
Teng saw that he was wide open from three. It was a chance the Tigers were willing to take. He took the three, but the ball again went in and out, and the Tigers secured the board. Ferrer, however, muffed both his charities. La Salle would have another crack at a three, but the ball once more sailed towards the rim before going out. By the time Torres rattled in a three for La Salle, UST still carried a three-point lead, the Archers didn’t have a timeout, and time was down to four seconds. Ferrer then made both his free throws to ice the game for the Tigers.
Jeron Teng rushed to the other side of the court, and made a heave from about three-fourths of the length of the court. The ball kissed the glass and then went in. Teng, however, was in no mood to celebrate. The look on his face betrayed him: He knew this was a game where they played well, but a game that slipped away from their grasp.
And it all began with that storm early in the fourth that was unleashed by the Tigers’ veterans.
Despite leading for most of the match, the Archers lost to the Tigers, 79-81, earlier today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, in their first match in the second round of UAAP Season 78. The loss brings their record to an even 4-4, which is tied for third and fourth places in the standings with the Ateneo Blue Eagles. UST, meanwhile, joins FEU at the top of the standings with a 7-1 win-loss record.
La Salle led by as much as 11 points early in the second half, and began the fourth period up by seven, 66-59. But Ferrer, who scattered 11 of his 15 points in the fourth period, spearheaded a 14-2 run for the Tigers that turned the seven-point La Salle lead into a five-point UST lead, 73-68.
Prince Rivero, however, scored two buckets and a free throw to tie the game, with 4:32 left. La Salle, however, would go without a field goal in the next four minutes, with only Torres’ triple with four seconds left and Teng’s halfcourt shot being their only made baskets. The Tigers, meanwhile, were able to get baskets from Abdul and Vigil in the game’s dying minutes to give them a 77-73 lead with 1:32 left in the contest.
And when the Archers missed consecutive triples, the Tigers ultimately were able to make their charities to stave off the La Salle rally, with Torres and Teng’s triples coming in a little too late.
Buoyed by Jason Perkins, Torralba, and Rivero’s points from under the basket, La Salle carried a 45-37 lead into the break, as they moved the ball well and outscored the Tigers 22-14 in points in the paint.
Despite their lack of ceiling, the Archers were able to outrebound the Tigers, 46-41, including 14-9 on the offensive glass. La Salle, however, had 19 turnovers, three more than the Tigers, including a couple of ones early in the fourth period that triggered the telling run for UST.
The Archers finished 7-of-30 from the three-point area (23%), and shot 42% overall. But they allowed the Tigers to shoot 45% from the field, as Abdul, Daquioag, Ferrer, Vigil, and Marvin Lee scored all but five of the Tigers’ points.
Notes: Andrei Caracut and Jollo Go did not suit up for the Green Archers today. Caracut did not play due to allergy sickness, while Go was out because of a sprained ankle. Andrew Langston, one of La Salle’s nine rookies, made his first basket in the UAAP, a triple off an assist from Perkins with 6:12 in the second period.
The Next Game: The Green Archers will try to get their first win in the second round when they face the UE Red Warriors this Wednesday, 2pm, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
UST – 81- Abdul-17, Daquioag-17, Ferrer-15, Vigil-13, Lee-13, Sheriff-3, Bonleon-2, Subido-0, Lao-0, Faundo-0, Caunan-0, Abdurasad-0, Garrido-0
DLSU – 79- Teng-16, Rivero-13, Torralba-12, Torres-11, Tratter-7, Perkins-6, Sargent-6, Navarro-5, Langston-3
Quarterscores: 21-22, 37-45, 59-66, 81-79