Moving one step closer: DLSU-UP Round 2

Finding the squad at fourth place, the De La Salle Green Archers will be gunning for a seventh win against the gritty UP Fighting Maroons today, September 6, afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Archers currently occupies the last playoff spot with a 6-4 record. A win against the Fighting Maroons would bring the squad in a more comfortable zone before a crucial game against the NU Bulldogs on Sunday, September 9.

The two teams, UP and DLSU, last met in their first game of the season. The Green Archers started slow, but eventually paced into a comfortable 56-40 lead in the middle of the game’s third quarter.

The Fighting Maroons has, however, clawed back into that game, even taking a slim 68-67 lead less than three minutes remaining, but that was the last point UP made as hotshot rookie Jeron Teng started his UAAP debut. He made a three-point play that would bring the advantage back to the Green Archers for good.

Many things have happened since.

Pointing out the positives

In a 67-77 defeat against archrival Ateneo last Sunday, the Taft-based ballers have found strong points, coming into their game against UP.

First, the team only squandered the ball seven times against rival Ateneo, with only four points coming from those errors. The Green Archers need to keep turnovers low to have an easy time against the Fighting Maroons. In their last meeting, UP squeezed 14 points off DLSU’s 17 turnovers, which pulled the Maroons closer before the game ended.

Second, the Green Archers also grabbed more rebounds than the Blue Eagles despite the presence of seven-footer Greg Slaughter. UP is the league’s smallest team; expect the Green Archers to dominate the battle for the boards.

Next, the performance of Oda Tampus against Ateneo last Sunday reminded many Green Archer fans of his brilliance. The ex-Letran Squire was 4/4 from the field against Ateneo, and a game against the Fighting Maroons may just be the prescription this third year Archer needs to get back in the game.

On top of this, the Green Archers has improved drastically in shooting free throws. In the team’s first three games in the second round, the team has been averaging 73 percent from the fifteen feet mark, 13 percent better than round 1.

If La Salle continues to tally these figures against UP this Thursday, the squad should have no problem in getting win number seven.

Avoiding complacency

Despite maintaining its bottom place in the standings, UP remains to be a tricky opponent. Even last season’s finalists Ateneo Blue Eagles and FEU Tamaraws had trouble defeating the Fighting Maroons this season.

The Fighting Maroons will rely on Mike Silungan, who scored his season-high of 18 points against the Green Archers during the first round. Newcomers Chris Ball and Henry Asilum could also threaten the defense of the Archers because of their ability to shoot from the perimeter.

The Fighting Maroons also boasts the most productive bench this season. Players such as Diony Hipolito, Jelo Montecastro, Raul Soyud and Jett Manuel could cause problems if Green Archers would have defense lapses.

With nothing much to lose, the boys from State U may just pull off an upset as the season approaches its tail end.

Big game at hand

This game is a must-win for the Green Archers if the team wants a slight advantage against the NU Bulldogs in the fight for a Final Four spot. If the Archers win, the squad would be a full game ahead of the Bulldogs before their match.

Norbert Torres may also rediscover his rhythm on the court. He scored 16 points, his UAAP-best, against UP; a similar performance could just rekindle the Bear’s ferocity.

As the elimination round nears its end, every game counts for the Archers. No game is safe until it is done.


Will the Archers get a seventh win or a fifth defeat after the final buzzer?

Brian Lance Tamayao

By Brian Lance Tamayao

21 replies on “Moving one step closer: DLSU-UP Round 2”


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