Green Archers with big season opening win over FEU

De La Salle University presented its new head coach Topex Robinson with a triumphant UAAP debut.

The Green Archers withstood the Far Eastern University Tamaraws’ late rally, winning 87-76 in their Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament opener on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“It’s really a surreal feeling finally coaching here in the UAAP especially for DLSU. Just so grateful for the opportunity to be here with these fine gentlemen here,” said Robinson on his winning debut.

Trailing by as much as 17 in the fourth period, the Tamaraws displayed their resilience, narrowing the gap to seven points with 2:16 left, thanks to the contributions of Jorick Bautista, Patrick Sleat, Xyrus Torres, and Royce Alforque, making it 73-80.

However, CJ Austria halted the Tamaraws’ comeback with a layup, followed by a Kevin Quiambao-Mike Phillips alley-oop connection, extending the Green Archers’ lead to 84-73 with just 1:14 remaining.

Evan Nelle narrowly missed a triple-double, recording 15 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds, while Quiambao had an impressive double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Phillips contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, while Austria and Francis Escandor added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement but that’s where rule number one for us comes in which is always use your best judgment. Given these guys are talented, you just have to give them the floor,” added Robinson, who will figure in his first La Salle-Ateneo game on Wednesday, 6:00 p.m at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU (87) — Nelle 15, Quiambao 14, M. Phillips 13, Austria 12, Escandor 11, Nonoy 8, B. Phillips 4, Abadam 2, Manuel 2, Nwankwo 2, Policarpio 2, Macalalag 2, Gollena 0, David 0.

FEU (76) — Torres 19, Bautista 12, Sleat 11, Gonzales 9, Añonuevo 8, Alforque 4, Ona 4, Bagunu 3, Faty 2, Tempra 2, Competente 2.
Quarterscores: 24-19, 48-39, 67-55, 87-76.