With no time-outs remaining, Jeron Teng ran the length of the court and hit a contested lay-up over the out-stretched arms of a UST defender with 0.8 seconds left on the clock to carry the De La Salle Green Archers to victory, 84-82, against the Growling Tigers in their final elimination match of the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup yesterday at the Arena in San Juan.
Thomas Torres scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead La Salle, which only suited up eight players in the game. Andrei Caracut had an all-around performance of 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Jason Perkins had a double-double of 14 points and 18 rebounds to help their team get the win.
“Really difficult for us coming into the game because of the rotation — a lot of players are injured and sick. It’s also tough because UST is a tough team to beat. I think they need to win to enter the playoffs also,” said Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler on his team’s victory.
The España-based school was spearheaded by Ed Daquioag, who had 20 points in addition to his eight assists. Kent Lao and Louie Vigil added 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the heartbreaking loss.
The first quarter saw the Growling Tigers score the first six points of the contest, only to be answered back with a 10-0 run by the Green Archers. They would exchange baskets throughout the quarter, which ended in an three-point play from UST big man Zachary Huang, ending the first at the score of 20-19, in favor of DLSU.
UST outpaced DLSU early in the second quarter, going on an 8-1 push to grab the lead, 27-21, after two consecutive baskets from Vigil. The Green and White squad would counter with a 9-0 run, this time led by Teng. Late in the quarter, it was Daquioag who found his touch, scoring seven consecutive points for UST. The first half finished with the Growling Tigers leading, 42-40.
Things got defensive at the start of the second half, with both squads engaging in physical defense. The España-based squad constantly attacked the interior, as opposed to the perimeter play preferred by the Green Archers. Caracut drilled an outside shot to grab the lead for his team, 50-48. UST would then regain the lead, 57-55, after Lao drained a triple. Torres hit a mid-range shot to tie the game at 57 at the end of the third quarter.
La Salle squandered a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter after a late push from UST gunners Mario Bonleon, Jon Sheriff, and Daquioag. The trio combined to score their team’s last 17 points, which culminated in a three-pointer from Daquioag that tied the game at 82-all with nine seconds left in the game.
Torres, who scored 12 points in the fourth, would turnover the ball in the following possession but the Tigers failed to take advantage after losing the ball out of bounds on the inbound play with 6.5 seconds left. With no time to map out a strategy, Teng rushed against a flurry of defenders and hit a game-winner to seal the game for La Salle.
“It was not designed because we didn’t have any time-out but I saw they wanted to get the final shot. I saw Jeron ask for the ball and tried to clear everything out. He made a good read, no one helped and he was open for a lay-up,” commented Sauler on the winning play.
DLSU outrebounded UST, 49-35, although UST dished more assists, 18-13. The Tigers forced the Archers into 14 turnovers, while only committing six of their own. The Taft-based squad had the advantage in free throws, attempting 29 while hitting 15 as opposed to their opponent’s 8/9.
With the win, the Green Archers sealed their spot in the play-offs and will be facing the Perpetual Help Altas in the quarter finals in their next game on Wednesday, June 10, at the same venue. UST, on the other hand, saw their pre-season end after failing to qualify for the next round due to finishing 5th in the Group B standings.
DLSU (84) – Torres 26, Caracut 17, Perkins 14, Teng 12, Tratter 9, Gob 4, Go 2, Pascual 0.
UST (82) – Daquioag 20, Lao 14, Vigil 13, Bonleon 10, Sheriff 8, Lee 8, Huang 3, Kakonda 2, Faundo 2, Arana 2, Caunan 0, Garrido 0.