The ADMU Blue Eagles soared over the DLSU Green Archers, 78-70, at the Arena in San Juan in the last game of the Fil-Oil Flying V Preseason Cup group stage. With the loss, La Salle finished the group stage with a 6-2 record after winning their first five games.
Kiefer Ravena led the Blue Eagles to victory with 31 points and five rebounds, while Jason Perkins led the Green Archers with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Jeron Teng and Almond Vosotros both contributed 14 points apiece for La Salle, but their efforts were not enough to tame Ateneo. The match settled the tie for the top spot of Group B, and with the win, Ateneo finished first with a 7-1 record while La Salle dropped to third after leading for majority of the tournament. The win of the Blue Eagles over the Green Archers marks La Salle’s first loss against their archrivals in the history of the preseason tournament.
In a surprising turn of events, the Blue Eagles withdrew from the preseason after the game, stating an injury-plagued line-up as their reason for the pull-out. As a result, the Green Archers will hold the second spot of Group B and the UE Red Warriors will climb to the top spot.
The initial clash
The De La Salle Green Archers were off to a good start as they sank two quick three pointers at the get-go. The Green and White squad had an early lead as they forced Ateneo’s star guard Kiefer Ravena to miss his shots early in the first. The Green Archers had the lead at 6-5, but the Blue Eagles broke out a 13-0 run courtesy of the rhythmic offensive play of Ravena and he pushed the lead to as much as 12 points in the opening period. Ateneo ended the quarter leading by nine, 24-15.
Entering the second quarter down by nine, the Green Archers regained the lead with a 10-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back three pointers from the Green Archers’ sharpshooter Almond Vosotros. This gave La Salle a one-point advantage, 25-24. Blue Eagles head coach Bo Perasol immediately inserted Ravena back into the lineup and Ateneo countered with a 10-0 run of their own. The Green Archers trailed at the end of the first half, 42-33, despite a combined 17 first half points from Perkins and Vosotros.
Coming off the halftime break, Ateneo was able to sustain their momentum and they exploded into another 10-0 run behind the explosive Ravena. Halfway through the third quarter, the Archers responded with an 11-0 run of their own, and Jeron Teng scored his first two points of the game during the blitz via a goaltending violation against Ravena. The third quarter closed with the Green Archers still unable to permanently cut Ateneo’s lead, ending the period with a score of 63-51.
Coach Gee Abanilla’s squad scored 11 straight points to start the final quarter and almost gave them an opportunity to win the game, cutting the lead down to as low as four points. However, Ravena kept his team on top by responding with back-to-back fade-away shots over the La Salle defense. Thomas Torres and Teng combined for five straight points though to bring the lead back down to five, 76-70, but towards the final seconds of the game, Teng was unable to convert two free throws then lost the ball to Ravena who sealed the game with a fastbreak lay-up.
Lady Archers get it done
The DLSU Lady Archers were on a tear for the whole game as they blew out the ADMU Lady Eagles in the prior match, 75-52. Their defense throughout the game was exceptional as they forced 34 turnovers from their archrivals. With the pressure that they applied on the backcourt, the Lady Archers took advantage of this by scoring 36 points off turnovers. The Lady Archers’ limited their rivals to 16 first half points while scoring 40 points of their own after 20 minutes of play. They ended the half with a commanding 31-7 run, which opened up a 24 point lead for the Lady Archers at the end of the first half.
Nickie Garcia and Chay Vergara had a strong start in the third quarter by scoring six points and five points respectively to stretch the lead. They opened up the third canto with a short run that got them their biggest lead of the game at 30 points. La Salle then cruised to the finish line and they were led once again by Ara Abaca who had an impressive overall performance, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
The next round
Both the Green Archers and their female counterpart will be back in the Arena in San Juan on Wednesday, June 5. The Lady Archers, who swept Group B, will tip-off their semifinal match-up against the UST Tigresses, the second seed of Group A, at 11 am, while Abanilla’s wards will take the court at 4 pm for their quarterfinal showdown with the SBC Red Lions.
DLSU 75 – Abaca 12, Garcia 10, Ramos 9, Claro 7, Corcuera 6, Santos 6, Vergara 5, Revillosa 4, A. Ong 4, Melendres 3, Scott 3, M. Ong 2, Piatos 2, Oyao 2
ADMU 52 – Nunez 12, Buendia 10, Uy de Ong 8, Jose 8, Boot 6, Deacon 4, Belarmino 2, Tantoco 2
Quarter Scores – 20-9, 40-16, 57-34, 75-52
ADMU 78 – Ravena 31, Tiongson 15, Golla 12, Asistio 6, Tolentino 5, Newsome 4, Elorde 3, Buenafe 2, Murphy 0, Lim 0
DLSU 70 – Perkins 15, Teng 14, Vosotros 14, T. Torres 9, van Opstal 9, N. Torres 7, de la Paz 2, Bolick 0, G. Reyes 0, Tampus 0, Salem 0
Quarter Scores – 24-15, 42-33, 63-51, 78-70