Since the beginning of the second round of the eliminations, things have seemed to go in the favor of the DLSU Green Archers. From their thrilling overtime triumph against the AdU Soaring Falcons to open the second round up to their sweet revenge against the UE Red Warriors in their last outing, this growing La Salle team has shown serious determination and drive to take their race all the way to the Final Four.
As the battles get tougher in the UAAP tournament, the Green Archers seek to extend their five-game winning streak as they face the league-leading NU Bulldogs, currently raging through the league with a six-game winning streak, for the second time around.
First round flashback
During the first round encounter, both teams came from opposite sides of the coin going into the match. La Salle was coming off a tough win against the AdU Soaring Falcons, while NU was suffering a two-game losing skid.
Arnold van Opstal was the main man for the Taft-based squad, and he scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds while veteran guard Almond Vosotros also played a significant role in the game with 11 points despite poor field goal shooting.
However, the collective efforts given by the Green Archers were short and unable to overcome the Bulldogs as they lost by seven, 63-56. Two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks and Cameroonian Jean Mbe were the standouts for the Bulldogs. Parks scored 20 points and 14 rebounds while 12 points and six rebounds for Mbe. The win snapped NU’s losing streak and was the first victory that spawned their current winning run.
Moving one step at a time
Over their past five victories, the Taft-based squad exhibited a whole new mindset and seemed like a different team. Rookie Jason Perkins continues to be one of head coach Juno Sauler’s most reliable players. In the past few games, Perkins has been consistently leading the team as one of the top scorers and rebounders, imposing his will on the opposition.
The Green Archers are just two games away from the end of the eliminations and a win against the Bulldogs will tie the two teams at first place and will almost assure the team of a twice-to-beat advantage. For the Bulldogs, a win is an opportunity to extend their run of domination as they seek to win their seventh straight game and lock up the first seed.
It’s a test of who has more desire to extend their winning streak as the two hottest teams collide. By the end of the final buzzer on Sunday evening, one team’s winning run will come to an end while the other will continue to lead the tournament. The heat is on between the Green Archers and the Bulldogs and fans will surely witness a great match as they go head-to-head on tomorrow, Sunday, September 8, at 4pm in the Mall of Asia Arena. Only one can remain standing.