With last April 25’s defeat at the hands of NCAA champions San Beda in overtime, 86-80, the DLSU Green Archers are eager to get their first win in the FilOil tournament against the LPU Pirates tomorrow, May 6.
Fresh from a victory over the Saint Clare Saints (SCS), 85-82, last Saturday, LPU will look to tally their third consecutive win this season.
LPU’s Wilson Baltazar was on fire from the three-point line last Saturday, finishing with five treys to score a team-high 17 points. Dexter Zamora scored 14 points, while fellow Pirate and former Benildean Trailblazer Maconocido put out an across-the-board performance contributing 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
After trailing by as much as 10 points, Resilient SCS rallied through the final quarter to tie the game at 79 apiece on the shoulders of Jason Ibay. A crucial three-point basket from Zamora though silenced their run as SCS failed to convert anything in the closing minutes of the game.
Last April 25’s match between San Beda and DLSU was a different story. DLSU got off to a slow start as they struggled to build an offensive rhythm. They finished the first half trailing by eight with only nine field goals to their 33 attempts.
Although La Salle managed to trim the deficit and even the lead later in the fourth quarter, San Beda’s steady play in the dying moments forced overtime, when they finally edged out DLSU.
Green Archer rookie and former Red Cub Andrei Caracut led the Taft-based squad with 22 points, making six of his eight three-pointers, but was thwarted by Red Lion Baser Amer who scorched DLSU with 26 points and five assists. Ola Adeogun also notched out a solid performance, recording a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
No other Green Archer scored in double figures aside from Caracut, Jeron Teng, and Kib Montalbo, with the latter two tallying 13 points each. In contrast, three more Red Lions contributed at least 10 points aside from Amer; Adeogun finished with 15 points, Art Dela Cruz had 14 points, and Ryusei Koga scored 10 points.
Trial by fire
Head coach Juno Sauler seems to be giving more importance to the development of his rookies rather than letting his veterans get their usual minutes, with Caracut given the most playing time.
The next game against the LPU Pirates will surely be an exciting one with the other Green Archer rookies hoping to build on their solid start tomorrow, May 6, 4pm at the FilOil Flying-V Arena in San Juan.