In a thrilling overtime finish marred by injuries, the DLSU Green Archers defeated the UP Fighting Maroons, 82-79, in their FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup match-up at the San Juan Arena.
The Green Archers found a tough opponent in the Maroons, a team they dominated in previous encounters, after trailing their UAAP rivals for a part of the game.
Prince Rivero led the Taft-based squad with a 25-point 18-rebound double-double performance. Rookie Andrei Caracut had another solid outing, finishing with 15 points while scoring key baskets in the end game, including the shot that sent the game into overtime. Larry Muyang, Joshua Torralba, and Jeron Teng each added 10 points to the victory.
UP was paced by Jett Manuel’s 18 points, while Paul Desiderio added 17 points in a losing effort.
A game of runs
The game started with a rather slow pace as both teams looked for their inside positioning early on. Muyang had a stellar opening as he scored six first quarter points, all of them from inside the paint.
The Green-and-White maintained the lead for the majority of the first quarter, but back-to-back baskets from JR Gallarza and Kyles Lao late in the canto enabled UP to tie the game. The quarter ended with a score of 15-13 in favor of the Fighting Maroons.
UP picked up from where they left off in the first quarter as their lead grew to eight in the midway point of the second quarter. Teng and Abu Tratter provided the points to keep La Salle within striking distance.
However, sophomore reserve Prince Rivero started to heat up as he picked up the scoring pace late in the second period. He scoredeight of his 25 points in the second quarter alone to help regain the lead for DLSU. The Taft-based squad came on top at the end of the first half, 35-32.
Toe to toe
Rivero continued his hot streak in the third quarter, scoring another eight points in the period and manning the boards for DLSU. Manuel and Desiderio willed the Maroons on with a combined 11 third quarter points but La Salle had the answer to every scoring run the Maroons unleashed. The Green Archers were still on top after three quarters as the period ended with a score of 59-53.
DLSU then had a five-minute scoring drought as UP had an eight to none scoring run, taking the lead midway through the quarter. The first basket for La Salle came in the five-minute mark courtesy of a Caracut three-pointer.
It was a joint effort by the Green Archers to keep up with the Maroons, but the Desiderio-Manuel duo of UP continued to pour on the points. Down by three points, Caracut’s three pointer tied the game at 70 apiece with less than one minute remaining in regulation.
Jan Jaboneta would then score a basket while Rivero and Caracut drained one free throw each to tie the contest once again at 72-all as the game went into overtime.
The offensive boards turned out to be the main factor during the overtime period with two huge putbacks by Tratter. UP then struggled to buy a bucket with La Salle beating them in transition. Gallarza then drilled a three-pointer to cut the deficit to a single point with just a minute left. However, Caracut quickly answered with a big turnaround jumper to seal the game for the Green Archers.
“Ah very correct, very physical. Some players are getting injured here, not only in our side but also in UP’s side. They [UP] came out really hard, pressuring, pulling down the boards, being very physical, that was the ball game,” commented head coach Juno Sauler on the physicality of both teams.
Up next for the Green Archers will be the UE Red Warriors, whom they’ll face on May 16, Saturday. The team will have a week to prepare for the match, giving the fatigued and injured players enough time to recover and get back to game shape.
DLSU (82)- Rivero 25, Caracut 15, Torralba 10, Muyang 10, Teng 10, Tratter 7, Go 2, Torres 2, Navarro 1, Pascual 0, Montalbo 0.
UP (79)- Manuel 18, Desiderio 17, Gallarza 11, Jaboneta 8, Kone 6, Moralde 5, Asilum 4, Dario 4, Tekoudjou 2, Vito 2, Lao 2, Amar 0, Prado 0, Juruena 0, Harris 0.
13-15, 35-32, 59-53, 72-72, 82-79