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UAAP: Green Archers falter against UP to drop to 1-1

For five seasons, the DLSU Green Archers reigned supreme over the UP Fighting Maroons, registering 10 victories in as many games against a squad that finished 1-13 last season. One could not have perceived this easily from the way today’s UAAP match up played out, as UP survived a late La Salle rally, 71-66, earlier today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers failed to contain the perimeter-oriented attack of UP, which was bolstered by both their high conversion rate and their assist totals, especially in the first 24 minutes of the game. Errors committed by La Salle proved to be fatal for their cause as the team combined for 20 turnovers, with all starters giving up at least two possessions.

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Jett Manuel led the balanced Fighting Maroon offense with his team-high 14 points along with five assists and five rebounds. Teammates Paul Desiderio and Piero Longa contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, UP shot 41 percent from the field while dishing out 14 assists, figures that are both higher than that of the Green Archers, who shot at 36 percent and finished with 10 assists.

It was the gritty effort off the bench by Prince Rivero that kept La Salle in the game. He finished with a double-double by posting 15 points together with 10 rebounds, six of which came from the offensive end. For the duration of the game, his energy and hustle was one of the bright spots in DLSU’s lethargic start.

On the other hand, Jeron Teng tallied only 10 points to go along his five rebounds and two assists as he fouled out with 40 seconds left in the game after being called for an offensive foul. Andrei Caracut also posted 12 points while adding five rebounds and two assists.


First half struggles

Thanks to a late rally to end the first quarter, the Green Archers were able to close the gap that UP built early in the quarter. The Fighting Maroons came out firing in the opening nine minutes as they managed to build a 16-10 advantage capped off by Longa’s triple. Rivero scored the last two baskets of La Salle in the first quarter with back-to-back points, with the last field goal coming off a tip-in that beat the buzzer.

UP’s hot shooting continued torching La Salle as they buried various shots that boosted their confidence as well as their play, which demoralized the Green Archers at every possession. The Fighting Maroons ended the first half on top, 41-28, thanks to their 48 percent field goal shooting along with four converted makes from behind the three-point arc, while preventing the Green Archers from making a single three-pointer.


Too little too late

La Salle was behind for majority of the game, resorting to playing catch up to the spirited UP squad. With under seven minutes to go, the Green Archers staged a desperate 14-3 rally to bridge the gap on the shoulders of Rivero and Caracut. Both attacked and maneuvered around the UP defense inside the paint while Teng made a basket that cut UP’s lead to four, 65-61, in the late stages of the game. However, DLSU failed to secure another stop while losing yet another possession in a turnover, thus sealing the victory for the Fighting Maroons.

Apart from costly turnovers, the poor three-point shooting of La Salle made it difficult for them to keep up with the Fighting Maroons. Collectively, the Green Archers only managed to post three field goals from beyond the arc out of the 24 attempts they took. Though DLSU outrebounded UP, 50-37, they only had two blocks to the Fighting Maroons’ four.

The Green Archers will next play the FEU Tamaraws, who lost to the UST Growling Tigers, 72-71, earlier today. With both teams reeling from tough losses, expect their 4 pm match up at the Mall of Asia Arena to be an intense game between the two preseason contenders.


The Scores:

UP 71 – Manuel 14, Desiderio 13, Longa 10, Dario 9, Asilum 7, Moralde 5, Harris 4, Vito 3, Gallarza 2, Amar 2, Prado 2, Juruena 0, Kone 0

DLSU 66 – Rivero 15, Caracut 12, Teng 10, Torres 8, Sargent 8, Perkins 5, Go 5, Muyang 3, Tratter 0, Navarro 0

Quarterscores: 16-14, 41-28, 54-42, 71-66

Jason Runes

By Jason Runes

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