With the beginning of Season 81, the DLSU Green Archers faced the FEU Tamaraws and experienced their first loss of the season, 68-61, last September 9, at the SM MOA Arena.
Team captain Kib Montalbo was not fazed about the results of the game and stated that this is just the beginning. He also added that compared to the Tamaraws, the Green Archers are a bit more inexperienced, “We’re a young team siguro lumabas yung pagka–new namin and FEU is a very veteran team and it showed in the last minute.”
In the losing effort, Leonard Santillan aided the Lasallians with 19 points, two assists, and 10 rebounds. With him, Aljun Melecio contributed 11 points with five rebounds. On the other hand, Arvin Tolentino led his team to the victory with 13 points, one steal, and four rebounds.
DLSU shed first blood in the first minute with two successful free throws from Taane Samuel courtesy of an early foul by FEU’s Kevin Eboña. Both teams continued to commit turnovers that produced points coming from the charity stripe.
It was when Santillan came inside the court that things started to heat up. An assist from Montalbo, helped him score a layup that gave the Green-and-White a six point lead, 12-6, with four minutes remaining in the quarter. However, with the Archers leaving Alec Stockton open, the Tamaraws were able to catch up as Stockton shot a jumper and later a three-pointer with only 47 seconds left at the clock. The first quarter ended with a 14-11 scoreline with DLSU on the lead.
It was FEU in the second quarter that shed first blood as Tolentino shot in the three-point line. Similar to the first quarter, both the Tamaraws and the Green Archers continued to trade baskets as the leading team kept changing from one team to another.
With Melecio flying right past by three Tamaraw defenders for a fastbreak layup with only 30 seconds left in the first half, the Lasallians were able to steer clear of FEU with a three point lead. Fortunately for the Tamaraws, a foul committed by Santillan gave Jasper Parker the opportunity to score two points in the free throw line, ending the first half with La Salle in the lead with only a point difference, 26-25.
Down to the wire
Heading into the second half, with the Green Archers up by one point against the Tamaraws, Baltazar scored the first points of the quarter via a layup giving La Salle a three point lead. 13 seconds later Tolentino converted a layup and was sent to the free throw line and completed the three-point play by sinking in his free throw. Both sides continued to make shots, played defense, and kept the score within strings distance. The third quarter ended on a high note for the Tamaraws as Alejandrino Iñigo beat the buzzer with a three-pointer which tied the game at 48 all.
The majority of the fourth was still close and the game relied on which team would maintain their composure. Unfortunately for the Green-and-White, Tolentino proved to be the deciding factor as he made a three-pointer with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Costly turnovers and being unable to convert shots hindered DLSU from making a comeback, 61-68.
Aside from losing the game, the Green Archers will now face their next opponents with Samuel out of the line-up for the upcoming games due to a stress fracture in his left foot. “Natuluyan yung stress fracture niya. At first, I took the chance—okay naman siya during practices namin. Then ayun kanina talagang bumigay na” coach Louie Gonzales added on the topic.
The DLSU Green Archers will look to get their first win of the season against the AdU Soaring Falcons on September 15 at 4 pm, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU 61 – Santillan 19, Melecio 11, Caracut 9, Baltazar 8, Montalbo 5, Serrano 3, Bates 2, Samuel 2, Manuel 1, Dyke 1, Go 0, Corteza 0, Capacio 0
FEU 68 – Tolentino 13, Tuffin 11, Inigo 10, Comboy 9, Stockton 9, Cani 7, Parker 5, Eboña 2, Escoto 2, Orizu 0
Quater scores: 14-11, 26-25, 48-48, 61-68