FilOil: Green Archers escape Scorpions, 71-67, Serrano earns back-to-back POG honors

Earlier today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, the DLSU Green Archers earned their second win in a row after battling it out with the CEU Scorpions, 71-67. The Green-and-White improved to a 3-1 win-loss card, while their opponent obtained their first loss in three games.

Once again, Encho Serrano spearheaded the Green Archers with 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Justine Baltazar had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Aljun Melecio was the only other DLSU player who scored in double figures, as he finished within 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Jd Formento came off the bench and led all scorers with 22 points and three rebounds yet it was not enough to propel the Scorpions to a win. Maodo Diouf  recorded 13 points and a team high 14 rebounds. Moreover, Tyron Chan and Judel Fuentes chipped in with 10 points each to their team’s tally.

After being hailed the Player of the Game for the second time in a row, Serrano shared his thoughts on the last two victories of La Salle. He explained that, “Gustong gusto ko talaga makatulong sa team namin kase nung first playing year ko sa UAAP wala ako masyadong na tulong sa team ko. Kaya ngayong FilOil palang gusto ko na maging consistent ako hanggang UAAP.”

(I just want to be consistent. I really want to help my team because during my first playing year in the UAAP, I did not contribute as much to the team. That is why I want to be consistent starting now, in the FiOil tournament, so that it will carry over in the UAAP.)

Give and take first half

Diouf opened the first quarter in favor of the CEU Scorpions as he scored off a three-point play. Team captain Andrei Caracut attempted to level the playing field as he converted a three-pointer afterwards. Although, at the 6:11 mark, Judel Fuentes’ three-pointer sparked a 5-0 run for the Scorpions. With a 5-13 deficit, the Green Archers were able to recover with a 7-0 run consisting of back-to-back midrange jumpers from the duo of Baltazar and Capacio. With 13 seconds remaining in the first frame, Capacio proved to be the team’s go to man as he hit another jumper to lessen CEU’s lead to two, 13-11.

The Lasallians looked to break the ice early on in the second period as Caracut ignited the spark for the team from Taft. As early as the 9:23 mark, the skipper opened DLSU’s 5-0 run with a floater in the paint. With five minutes left to play in the second quarter, the Scorpions only continued to pull away with their lead, with Fuentes hitting back-to-back three-pointers, recording eight unanswered points. Caracut capped off the frame with a layup, narrowing the gap at 28-26, to end the first half.

Gutsy second half

In the second half, La Salle remained sharp on both ends of the floor as they stretched their lead behind the efforts of Baltazar and Serrano. At the 5:53 mark of the third period, Baltazar scored off a pick and roll play with Melecio to give DLSU the lead over CEU, 34-32. Although, trading baskets on both ends of the court, both teams aimed to capitalize on their respective opportunities. Chan made a layup over Brandon Bates at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter to give the lead back to CEU, 42-41. After Serrano scored on a fastbreak layup from a Lim assist, Rojas hit a three-pointer from the wing to keep the Scorpions in the lead over the Green Archers at the end of the third frame, 48-47.

It was still anyone’s game during the early moments of the fourth quarter as Serrano and Melecio kept CEU from taking the lead. The duo continued to drain back-to-back three-pointers for the Taft-based squad. On the other hand, Diouf continued to assist his teammates as Chan and Earl Lisbo converted consecutive layups for CEU. In the end, the Green Archers were steadfast, as a Caracut jumper and a Serrano layup sealed the score at 71-67.

After the game, DLSU head coach Gian Nazario discussed the importance of consistency for the team. “This week we had three games so the players are pretty banged up. Pagod sila, alam namin, but it’s not an excuse. Right now,  [they’re] just believing what we’ve been preaching in practice, one of them is being consistent with their roles,” Nazario shared.

The Green Archers will continue their FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup campaign when they take on the Arellano University Chiefs on Thursday, May 23, at 5 pm at the same venue.

The scores:

DLSU: Serrano 18, Baltazar 14, Melecio 11, Caracut 9, Manuel 4, David 4, Capacio 4, Cu 2, Bates 2, Bartlett 2, Manaytay 1, Lim 0, Lojera 0, Escandor 0

CEU: Formento 22, Diouf 13, Chan 10, Fuentes 10, Lisbo 4, Uri 3, Rojas 3, Sunga 2, Caballero 0, Diaz 0, Bernabe 0

Quarter scores: 11-13, 26-28, 47-48, 71-67

Andrea Punzalan

By Andrea Punzalan

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