The historic rivalry continues this season as the DLSU Green Archers take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles this Sunday, October 4, at 4 pm in the Mall of Asia Arena. The first battle between the longtime rivals in UAAP Season 78 is expected to once again fill the MOA Arena with students, alumni, and fans in what is expected to be a tight contest between two young but talented squads.
Going head to head
Both teams took one game apiece in their matchups last season. Ateneo struck first with a 97-86 victory behind Kiefer Ravena, who had a game-high 29 points. Former Green Archer Fonzo Gotladera also had a superb game with 17 points. DLSU, meanwhile, was led by Jason Perkins who finished with a 25-point, 10-rebound statline, and Almond Vosotros, who scored 18 points in the loss.
La Salle bounced back during the second round of Season 77 with an 88-86 victory against the Blue Eagles. Jeron Teng had 32 points, six rebounds, and five assists in a game that went down the wire. Chris Newsome and Ravena led Ateneo’s campaign with a combined output of 37 points, but it wasn’t enough to clinch the victory for the Blue Eagles.
The Green Archers have shown inconsistency so far in the first round of Season 78 with defeats at the hands of teams such as the UP Fighting Maroons, the FEU Tamaraws, and their most recent opponent, the UST Growling Tigers. It was UST’s three-point shooting and DLSU’s struggles at the free-throw line that caused the latter to blow a 33-31 lead in the first half and suffer a 77-61 loss against the Growling Tigers
After a slow start to the season, the Blue Eagles are looking to build on their newfound momentum after getting past the UP Fighting Maroons in their last assignment, 56-43. Ravena and Von Pessumal led Ateneo with 11 points each as only a total of three players reached double-digits in the low-scoring affair.
Offensively, DLSU will be maximizing their ability to go inside-out, with players like Andrei Caracut and Josh Torralba forcing the Ateneo defense to spread out. Expect a physical battle on the low block as well between the big men from both squads. Veterans Prince Rivero and Perkins will be going against last season’s Rookie of the Year Arvin Tolentino and John Apacible, while rookies Larry Muyang and Ikeh Chibueze will meet each other for the first time in the UAAP.
Defensively, both teams will be ready to make adjustments to contain opposing scorers. Ravena, the reigning UAAP MVP, is expected to catch fire early on, with Pessumal looking to rack up points from behind the three-point line. On the other hand, the Blue Eagles will be forced to be on their toes while guarding Teng, Torralba, and Julian Sargent.
With the rich history and electric atmosphere surrounding the battles between Ateneo and La Salle in collegiate sports, the 16 rookies from both squads will be in unfamiliar territory as they get their first taste of the DLSU-ADMU rivalry this Sunday.
“You can’t even hear the whistle, or the guy saying the plays. You get the jitters, the goosebumps. You just want to play,” Torralba shared about playing in his first Ateneo-La Salle game.