With elimination staring them in the face, the Green Archers showed grit and determination down the stretch to escape with a 73-72 come-from-behind victory over the UP Fighting Maroons. With the win, La Salle continues to hang on to their slim chances for the last remaining slot in the final four.
At the start it appeared La Salle would be headed for another disappointing loss after trailing 23-7 at the end of the first quarter. UP’s lead went as high as 20 points as they continued to out-play and out-work the sluggish Archers. But just when every La Sallian thought the season seemed over at that point, the team finally woke up and went on a 10-2 run to trim the deficit to a manageable 12 points at halftime.
The Green Archers continued its comeback in the third as they turned up their pressure defense to force UP to commit several turnovers and hurried shots. Almond Vosotros’ floater in the key gave the La Salle the upper-hand temporarily before Mike Gamboa beat the buzzer with a trey to give the Maroons a 2 point lead entering the final period.
But Almond was not done yet. The crafty guard scored 10 of his 12 points in the payoff quarter as he and LA Revilla helped La Salle erect a 57-50 lead early in fourth. Baskets by Mike Silungan and Francis Maniego kept the Maroons within striking distance heading into the final minutes of the match. A split by Silungan and a basket off a turnover by Paolo Romero cut La Salle’s lead to just 2 points with less than 20 seconds remaining.
With the Archers leading by 3 after a split by Norbert Torres, the Maroons had two chances to tie the game but both shots came up short. Romero grabbed the offensive rebound after the second 3-point attempt to score on a putback as time expired.
Torres led the team with 15 points and 12 rebounds while Vosotros and Revilla added 12 and 11 points respectively. Silungan top scored for the Maroons with 19 markers.
This is the Green Archers’ first win in the second round. With a 5-7 record, the team must sweep their last two games and hope that UST loses their next two assignments to force a tie for the 4th semis seat. La Salle does not control their fate but this should not stop them from aspiring to end the elimination round on a high note.
Refuse To Lose!
DLSU 73 – Torres 15, Vosotros 12, Revilla 11, Dela Paz 8, Van Opstal 7, Tampus 5, Paredes 4, Villanueva 4, Atkins 4, Sara 2, Marata 1, Gotladera 0, Mendoza 0
UP 72 – Silungan 19, Maniego 14, Romero 12, Gamboa 12, Montecastro 6, Juruena 5, Manuel 2, Gomez 2, Mbah 0, Pascual 0, Gingerich 0