The DLSU Lady Archers were victorious in their first game of Season 81 as they dominated the AdU Lady Falcons, 72-57, earlier today at the Blue Eagle Gym. “We want to start the tournament with a win to build up confidence coming into our next games. So it’s a very good win for us. I think Adamson is one of the top teams here in the UAAP, so it’s a good confidence booster for us,” Lady Archers head coach Cholo Villanueva said after the game.
Khate Castillo led the Green-and-White with 21 points while rookies Angel Quingco and Bettina Binaohan grabbed 13 and 10 rebounds each in their UAAP debut. “Si Bettina naman, if you watch the PBA, she’s like si Scottie Thompson na gets extra possession for us,” expressed Villanueva on the guard’s solid performance.
Jamile Alcoy and Lady Rose Rosario of the Lady Falcons combined for 23 points but it was not enough to defeat the rejuvenated Lady Archers. Nathalie Razalo, meanwhile, only scored six points but recorded 20 rebounds in only 24 minutes of play.
Setting the pace
Villanueva, who preaches a full-court man-to-man defense, started the game with a zone defense as he wanted to rattle the offense of the Lady Falcons and also, to limit the scoring opportunities of Nathalie Prado. “We want to control Prado. I think Prado’s a Mythical Five player this year. Nobody can match-up with her one-on-one, pero as a team, we can play team defense on her,” he explained.
The defensive strategy of Villanueva worked as the Lady Archers quickly built a 13-3 lead in the first six minutes of the first quarter. Camille Claro, who sat out the entire campaign last year due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), immediately dictated the pace of the game with her playmaking. She ran the offense with little difficulty as she had a fancy behind-the-back assist to Castillo to start the game at 2-0.
Even though Claro only scored seven points with a 30 percent field goal shooting, Villanueva was delighted to have his team captain back. “Camille is our court general. She dictates everything for us on offense and on defense so having her inside, having that veteran presence gives me another extension na I think controls the game from start to finish.”
With both the offense and defense clicking for the Lady Archers, the Taft-based squad increased their lead to 13 points following Castillo’s reverse lay-up at the 2:28 mark of the second quarter. The Green-and-White struggled to score another field goal after Castillo’s lay-up and the Lady Falcons capitalized on this as they successfully brought the deficit down to single digits at the end of the first half, 38-31.
Claro kick-started the second half with a steal and a lay-up while Castillo swiftly followed it up with two free throws to bring the lead back to double digits, 42-31. The Lady Falcons finally scored their first points of the half as Razaldo knocked-down two free throws at the 7:17 mark of the third quarter.
La Salle answered back with back-to-back triples from Binaohan and Castillo as they ballooned their lead to 16 points, 49-33. The Lady Falcons the unleashed a 7-2 run to trim the lead once again but Lauryn Del Campo was able to convert a lay-up to end the period at 53-40.
It was in the fourth quarter that the Lady Archers separated themselves from their opponents as they secured their biggest lead of the game at the 4:33 mark after Castillo made a lay-up off an assist from Claro. The latter only had two assists in the game and both were converted by fellow fifth-year player, Castillo.
Guingco and Arciga scored La Salle’s last five points while Alcoy launched a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the match at 72-57. Despite the scintillating win, the Lady Archers were outrebounded badly by the Lady Falcons, 70-32.
“Again, this is the first game and we have a lot of things to improve on and rebounding is one of them,” Villanueva stated.
La Salle will hope to go 2-0 against the UST Golden Tigresses on Saturday, 8 am, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU 72 – K. Castillo 21, Claro 7, Arciga 6, Revillosa 6, Quingco 6, Del Campo 6, Binaohan 5, Paraiso 5, Torres 5, Nuñez 4, Jimenez 1, R. Castillo 0, Espinas 0.
AdU 57 – Alcoy 13, Rosario 10, Osano 9, Prado 7, Razalo 6, Araja 2, Bilbao 2, Camacho 2, Tandaan 2, Cacho 2, Aciro 2, Tacitac 0, Cabug 0.
Quarter scores: 18-18, 38-31, 53-40, 72-57