La Salle escapes past UE to end round one

De La Salle University found its groove in the fourth quarter to trounce University of the East, 83-75, to bounce back in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

The big men trio of Kevin Quiambao, Jonnel Policarpio, and Raven Cortez anchored La Salle’s strong start to the payoff period that turned a 62-63 deficit into an 81-70 lead with 3:31 to go.

They combined for 12 points while also getting contributions from Evan Nelle, Mark Nonoy, and EJ Gollena.

“Coming into the game, always ready lang ako. It just happened na ngayon natawag yung pangalan ko. Every game talaga always focused lang ako ang stay readt,” said Cortez, who had his breakout game in just 13 minutes and 19 seconds of floor time. He had 18 points, five rebounds, and three blocks.

The Green Archers snapped their two-game skid to finish the first round with a 4-3 record for solo third.

They lost to league-leader University of the Philippines and National University by just three points, 64-67 and 77-80, respectively.

“We’re fortunate enough to get this victory. It didn’t look well at the start of the game and the guys just responded to the challenge, especially Raven, he played big time this afternoon,” said Green Archers head coach Topex Robinson.

Quiambao just missed a triple-double with 17 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds along with a steal and a block.

Evan Nelle returned after missing one game due to a quad contusion, delivering 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists but committed six turnovers.

The Red Warriors absorbed their fourth straight defeat to slip down even more at 2-5 for solo seventh, just above winless University of Santo Tomas.

Noy Remogat had 13 points and 13 assists for UE while Abdul Sawat also came through with 13 points.

Nigerian center Precious Momowei scored 12, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked four shots. Ethan Galang also supplied 10 points off the bench.

The Scores:

DLSU 83 – Cortez 18, Quiambao 17, Nelle 14, Austria 7, Policarpio 7, Nonoy 6, Gollena 5, M. Phillips 4, Macalalag 3, Abadam 2, David 0, Nwamkwo 0, B. Phillips 0, Manuel 0, Escandor 0.

UE 75 – Remogat 13, Sawat 13, Momowei 12, Galang 10, Cruz-Dumont 9, Gilbuena 7, Tulabut 6, Fikes 3, Alcantara 2, Langit 0, Lingolingo 0.

Quarterscores: 17-19, 37-48, 62-63, 83-75