Even with their fate still in their hands, the DLSU Green Archers’ next match-up will perhaps be the game that will either make or break their season, as the squad will be take on the FEU Tamaraws tomorrow, November 18, at 4 pm in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
After handing the UP Fighting Maroons a 72-68 loss last Wednesday, the Green Archers currently hold a 6-7 win-loss record, half a game behind the NU Bulldogs, who are in fourth place with a 7-7 win-loss record.
The last time FEU and DLSU met was during the early parts of the first round, with the Taft-based squad succumbing to a 93-75 loss to the Tamaraws. As of press time, FEU holds a 10-3 record, half a game behind league-leader UST.
Composure and late-game mishaps
Though they lost by a huge margin, La Salle was actually not far behind at the end of the second quarter, as swingman Julian Sargent converted a buzzer-beating three-pointer to cut the deficit to just two points at the end of the first half, 45-43.
The mishap occurred during the four-minute mark of the third period, as FEU went on a devastating 20-0 run to end the quarter, extinguishing the momentum DLSU had been building.
Jeron Teng and Andrei Caracut were able to spark a small run during the dying minutes of the game, but the lead was too much for them to trim as time was not on their side.
Lack of team play
In the blowout loss, the Green Archers showed signs of weakness in their team play. The FEU Tamaraws posted an impressive 22 assists during that game while the Archers only had eight, half of which came from Teng alone.
Though Teng had a huge game — posting 29 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists — only Caracut and Sargent finished in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The huge disparity in points, the mediocre number of assists, and not to mention the below-forty percent shooting percentage meant that the ball was not moving freely enough in the Green Archers’ offensive sets.
Although a win against FEU will surely require a lot of work and determination, the Green Archers remain capable of snatching a win from FEU.
Prince Rivero has been helping Teng keep the Green Archers afloat, as he had 18 points and 16 rebounds in the win over UP. Rookie Joshua Torralba has improved as well, even making crucial shots late in games, one of which was his game-sealing three-pointer against Ateneo during the first round finale.
Sargent, who missed the past few games due to a hamstring injury, has been known for his defensive prowess from last season, but he has also been showing signs of his offensive capabilities as well in Season 78. Lastly, rookies Larry Muyang and Andrew Langston have been providing quality minutes whenever Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler calls for their number.
As these emerging Green Archers step up to the challenge, the team will pull out all the stops now that they have no room for error. With their season on the line, expect them to leave it all on the court.
Note: This post has been edited in light of the UAAP game suspensions last October.