Momentum and manpower will be the advantage for the DLSU Green Archers when they face the FEU Tamaraws in the semifinals of the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup tomorrow, June 12, at the San Juan Arena.
Fresh off a victory over the UPHSD Altas, the Green Archers will look to make it to their third FilOil finals in four years, and exact revenge on the team that prevented them from defending their UAAP championship through a Mac Belo three at the buzzer. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, will continue their buildup to the UAAP season despite missing the services of Belo and head coach Nash Racela.
Despite leading by double digits at halftime in yesterday’s quarterfinals, DLSU could not put away Perpetual Help in the second half. The Atlas kept themselves within striking distance throughout the second half and tied the game at 76 late in the fourth quarter. Jason Perkins, who finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, scored the final basket off a Teng assist to put the Green Archers ahead for good, 81-79. Jeron Teng led the Green Archers in the win with 19 points and five rebounds, while Thomas Torres had another solid outing with 18 points.
On the other hand, The Tamaraws led by as many as 18 points yet only beat the CEU Scorpions by five, 73-68. The CEU Scorpions are one of two teams that had defeated DLSU this preseason. Raymar Jose and Mike Tolomia had 16 and 13 points respectively to send their team to the semifinals.
Keys to the game
On paper, DLSU is the much deeper team, not only because Belo is currently competing with Sinag Pilipinas in the SEA Games, but also because anyone from DLSU can step up. Prince Rivero will also miss this game for the same reason but Perkins and big men Abu Tratter, Larry Muyang, and John Gob will most likely take over Rivero’s minutes.
Even without Belo, FEU remains a threat with the presence of point guard Mike Tolomia and the likes of Achie Inigo and Raymar Jose stepping up for the Tamaraws. If UAAP Season 77 was any indication, the Green Archers cannot simply focus on stopping Tolomia from scoring; he also has the ability to get his teammates involved in the offense as well.
Just like in their previous games, DLSU and FEU will both be missing vital cogs in their rotation. However, both teams overcame these losses to make it to the semifinals. As the UAAP season inches closer, expect both teams to step up their preparations by giving it their all with a shot at a championship on the line.