UAAP: Green Archers outlast feisty UP for third straight win

Edmar-7235 (2)The DLSU Green Archers broke away from the UP Fighting Maroons in the second half and picked up their third consecutive victory with an 85-63 win. The boys from Taft Avenue applied tight pressure defense and made timely shots late in the game as they outscored their opponents by 17 in the deciding quarter and limited the Fighting Maroons to just 7 points.

Rookie forward Jason Perkins continued his stellar play in the second round of the eliminations and led all players with a game-high 19 points which he coupled with 16 rebounds for another double-double. Starters Almond Vosotros, Norbert Torres and Jeron Teng all put up double figures in scoring as they contributed a combined 44 points to their winning cause.

The highly motivated UP team kept the game interesting through the first three quarters of play with new head coach Rey Madrid leading the way on the sidelines. DLSU head coach Juno Sauler used a balanced ten man rotation to keep his players fresh and out of foul trouble. As a result, UP starters Sam Marata, Henry Asilum, and Raul Soyud who led the team early on, looked drained in the last quarter and had no more answers for the DLSU run. Marata had consecutive turnovers, Asilum suffered cramps and Soyud fouled out together with big man Andrew Harris all in the critical quarter. The Green Archers continued their dominance against the Maroons and have not lost to them in the UAAP since 2009.

Early trouble

To begin the game, UP scored the first basket courtesy of a jumpshot by Julius Wong, but unanswered baskets from Vosotros, Teng and N. Torres shifted the momentum to the DLSU side as they led, 8-2. It looked as if DLSU would lead all the way, but UP regained their composure at the start of the second quarter to take the lead, 25-24, after Harris scored. Both teams traded baskets up until the halftime break, but UP broke away and led with a score of 42-35 after reserve center Martin Pascual hit a three pointer.

“The difference in the game was we made the shots in the second half, UP did not,” Sauler shared after the game.

The game was tuned to a tight pace of six deadlocks and eight lead changes in the third quarter, until things started clicking for the green side. Reliable center Arnold van Opstal anchored the DLSU defense towards the end of the third together with reserve guards Kib Montalbo and Jarelan Tampus who hounded the former Green Archer stalwart Marata all game. The Green Archers led, 61-56, at the end of the third and they never looked back from then.

Perkins set the tone right at the start of the fourth quarter as he completed a traditional three-play to balloon the lead to eight. The lead then grew like mushrooms in the rain as UP was unable to find a basket against the suffocating defense of the Green Archers. La Salle outscored the Maroons in the fast break points department, 12-0, and outrebounded them as well, 55-42. However, Perkins was not satisfied as he said, “I could have done better on defensive rebounds, as most of their offensive rebounds were my man.”

Room for improvement

It was not a perfect game for the Green Archers though as they fell behind early on once again due to their free throws. They made just 11 out of 22 free throws in the first half, but eventually found their stride in the second half and finished the game making 26 out of 40, good enough for a 65 percent clip. UP on the other hand made just nine out of their 17 free throw attempts for the game. With the win, the Green Archers’ winning streak extends to three games and they improve to a 6-4 win-loss record while UP remained win-less with a 0-9 slate. DLSU is currently at third place in the standings, behind just league-leading FEU and resurgent NU.

When asked about their streak, Sauler said, “We’re just trying to improve on team defense, increase our assists and decrease turnovers, and try to shoot better from the field.”

Their next assignment will be against their fierce archrivals, the streaking ADMU Blue Eagles whom they will face on Sunday, September 1, at 4 pm in the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.  The Green Archers will have a week-long break, but Sauler believes it will not affect the team negatively or positively. “I don’t think it’s a factor,” said the rookie head coach.


The Scores:

DLSU 85: Perkins 19, Vosotros 16, N. Torres 16, Teng 12, Van Opstal 7, Revilla 6, Montalbo 5, Tampus 4, T. Torres 0, Salem 0

UP 63: Asilum 18, Soyud 11, Marata 11, Wong 6, Lao 6, Harris 4, Desiderio 4, Pascual 3, Suarez 0, Paras 0, Gingerich 0, Gallarza 0, Amar 0

Quarter Scores: 23-20, 35-42, 61-56, 85-63

Mico Montemayor

By Mico Montemayor

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