The Green Archers spread love all over the statistic sheet in today’s collision with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, lording it over in several departments (offensive rebounds, assists, three-pointers made, turnover points) against their arch-rivals. They even managed to curtail their misses from the charity stripe, making fifteen of their twenty attempts from the 15-foot parallel.
Despite all of this, however, several crucial turnovers in the last 90 seconds of the heated encounter allowed Ateneo to turn the barnburner into a sizeable lead, and, by the time the final horn sounded, the Blue Eagles carved a ten-point victory, 71-61, earlier today at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Perhaps the most telling of these miscues was a five-second inbound infraction committed by Jeron Teng with 44 ticks left and his team down by only six when he was hard-pressed to find teammates off a timeout. La Salle will once more get a crack to bring down the lead, but Revilla would hoist a three-pointer that would hit the back iron and sail into the hands of an Ateneo rebounder, allowing the Eagles to nab their third win of the tournament.
The loss, meanwhile, was the second for the Green Archers against two victories, which ties them at the fourth spot with the NU Bulldogs. The triumvirate of the oftentimes double-teamed Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, and Kiefer Ravena tag-teamed to score 52 of the team’s 71 points. On the other side, it was Revilla, Teng, and Norbert Torres who bannered the La Salle cause, netting 16, 13, and 11 markers, respectively.
After Ateneo engineered a seven-nil run that brought them at the cusp of a double-digit lead, 61-52, with over five minutes left in the final canto, the Green Archers responded with a rally of their own, and a triple rifled in by Revilla would bring the Archers within four, 60-64, prompting Eagles mentor Norman Black to sue for time. But that Revilla triple would prove to be the Archers’ last basket of the game as the Blue Eagles ended the game strongly to withstand La Salle’s valiant stand.
A shaky start for the Green Archers would allow Ateneo to grab an early 16-point lead, 26-10, but La Salle, unfazed with an early deficit, responded with a barrage of baskets from Revilla and Luigi Dela Paz to crawl back into the game and make a nail-biter out of a game that had been threatening to turn into a rout. Teng and Torres would continue to assail the Blue Eagle defense after the turn, and, in the waning moments of the third, La Salle even momentarily took the lead, 50-47, before the Eagles would score six straight to bring a slim three-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
Ateneo-71– Slaughter-20, Salva-16, Ravena-16, Chua-6, Tiongson-4, Elorde-3, Buenafe-3, Pessumal-2, Erram-1, Sumalinog-0, Gonzaga-0
La Salle-61– Revilla-16, Teng-13, Torres, N.-11, Dela Paz-7, Manguera-6, Van Opstal-2, Andrada-2, Webb-2, Mendoza-1, Tampus-1, Paredes-0, Vosotros-0, Torres, T.-0, Gotladera-0, Tallo-0
Quartercores: 20-8, 35-26, 53-50, 71-61