Archers fend off pesky Warriors for their first 2-0 start since 2007

The UE Red Warriors who showed up against the Green Archers were clearly a different team than the hapless, shell-shocked bunch that suffered a drubbing at the hands of the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP’s inaugural game. “UE played loose,” head coach Gee Abanilla would later say about their opponents. “They were scrappy, they got rebounds, they gained confidence with their outside shooting, and they forced a lot of turnovers.”

The Warriors even managed to disrupt the game of slotman Norbert Torres, who only suited up for 13 minutes  while being beleaguered by foul trouble and mustered a paltry three points after exploding for a double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds) in their first game against UP.

But despite his struggles, two familiar heroes from their maiden win once more knocked crucial baskets to put the game out of reach and hand the team their second win in as many games in the tournament: Jeron Teng and LA Revilla.

Teng poured in nine of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, while Revilla also dropped seven of his 11 markers in the final canto to propel the Archers to their second straight win of the season, 67-59, earlier today at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

With Torres being slapped with two early fouls with still 8:05 remaining in the first quarter, big men such as Jovet Mendoza, who scored 11 points and pulled down four rebounds, and Arnold Van Opstal (five points, nine rebounds, six of them on the offensive end) were able to hold their own against the hard-fighting UE frontline.

When a steal and a breakaway lay-up by Warrior Adrian Santos narrowed the gap between the teams down to a solitary point midway through the fourth, the Archers responded with a telling 11-2 run capped by a Revilla midrange jumper to give them their biggest lead, 60-50, with about two minutes remaining, effectively putting the game out of reach

With the victory, it marked the first time since the year 2007 that the Archers started the UAAP tournament with a 2-0 win-loss record, which was also the last time that they won the championship.

But when asked about the team’s success, Abanilla emphasized that there is still much room for improvement for his team, and that this improvement should manifest as the season progresses. “We’re still trying different combinations, and we’ll still work on the things that we have to work on,” he says.  “We’re happy with our record right now, but we still have a long way to go.”

Notes: Thomas Torres, who did not suit up in their game against the Fighting Maroons, played for ten minutes, which he put to good use by scoring seven points, and pulling down three rebounds. The Archers, despite the victory, were once more less than stellar from the charity stripe, as they made only ten of their 25 free throws.

Next Game: The Green Archers will be locking horns with the FEU Tamaraws this Sunday, July 22. When asked about his thoughts regarding the upcoming game, Abanilla stressed the importance of his big men staying out of foul trouble. He also added that “FEU is a strong team in all positions, and we really have to play our A-game against them.”

Box Scores:

DLSU- 67- Teng-16, Revilla-11, Mendoza-11, Torres, T.-7, Van Opstal-5, Vosotros-5, Dela Paz-4, Torres, N.-3, Andrada-2, Tampus-2, Manguera-1, Paredes-0, Gotladera-0, Webb-0

UE59- Sumang-20, Santos-14, Javier-6, Olayon-5, Galanza-5, Villarias-3, Sumido-2, Razon-2, Mena-2, Belleze-0, Valdez-0, Hernandez-0, Flores-0, Duncil-0

Quarterscores: 13-11, 29-22, 43-39, 67-59