Despite losing a huge margin, the Green Archers showed enough endgame poise down the stretch to defeat the UST Tigers 61-53 today. La Salle displayed cool resolve in the face of a fiery comeback by UST led by Clark Bautista. The third-year guard erupted with a barrage of three-pointers as UST trimmed La Salle’s once 20-plus lead to as low as 4 points approaching the late stages of the match. But thanks to the steady playmaking of Simon, Almond, Joel and the timely baskets of Jovet and Maui from underneath, the Archers thwarted any last attempts by the Tigers to seize control of the game to finally seal the win.
Going into the final period, La Salle appeared to have the game in hand especially the way they hounded UST’s offense and inflicted so many turnovers. They got a bit relaxed on defense as they left Bautista with several open looks and allowed Camus room for him to take it strong to the ring. The FEU game last Thursday should serve as a lesson to the team never to lose focus and play heads-up basketball for 40 minutes.
Overall, it was good win for the Archers. They pounded it inside and used their size advantage against the thin UST frontline. Fortuna and Teng’s production were limited thanks to the superb defense by our backcourt. If it were not for Bautista’s three spree, it would have been a complete offensive shutdown for the Tigers.
Good solid game from Maui, Jovet, Yutien and Papot. They have been the silent workhorses for La Salle and they will be counted upon to provide stability to the team’s frontline in the succeeding games this season.
The Green Archers will close out their first round campaign next Sunday as they go up against the Adamson Falcons. A win will solidify their hold on second place heading to the next phase of the tournament.