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UAAP: Green Archers absorb first loss of season at the hands of the Blue Eagles, 81-69

The DLSU Green Archers opened their UAAP season with a loss as the ADMU Blue Eagles surpassed them, 81-69, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. With the loss, the Green-and-White sports a 0-1 win-loss record to start their campaign.

For the Blue Eagles, Mike and Matt Nieto led the team in scoring, recording 18 and 15 points, respectively. Gian Mamuyac followed with 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists. 

In the losing effort, the new Green Archer Jamie Malonzo paced the Taft-based squad with 18 points, ten rebounds, and two assists. Team captain Andrei Caracut posted 14 points and five assists in their first outing of the season. 

After the game, Malonzo shared what he thought of his first Ateneo-La Salle experience, ”We knew it was going to be crazy going in. Learning about the history and about the game is very emotional…We had to want it more than they did. We fought back, but unfortunately fell short.”

Rollercoaster first half 

The Green Archers opened the match with a Malonzo putback, 2-0, to draw first blood in the match. From there, the Blue Eagles answered with two consecutive shots of their own, courtesy of Ma. Nieto, 4-2. At the 8:20 mark of the first period, skipper Caracut tried to turn the tide for the benefit of the Green-and-White with a three-pointer, 5-4. 

Nearing the end of the first period, Malonzo found help in Encho Serrano, who scored four consecutive points coming from a putback followed by a layup. With six seconds left, Serrano mustered all his strength for a layup to cut La Salle’s deficit to two, 23-21, to end the first quarter.

With momentum slowly creeping in on the side of the Green Archers, the Blue Eagles made sure to capitalize on their lead in the second quarter. The Blue-and-White showcased their teamwork and asserted their dominance early in the second quarter as Mi. Nieto shot a three-pointer, 26-23. 

Baltazar, Caracut, and Malonzo were the only ones from the Green-and-White to score throughout the whole second quarter. Meanwhile, the Blue-and-White took advantage of the disoriented Green Archers and made basket after basket. The team from Taft scored only eight points in the second quarter compared to the 28 points of the team from Katipunan. With three seconds left before halftime, Mi. Nieto made a layup to give Ateneo its biggest lead, 51-29. 

Commenting on their play in the second quarter, Malonzo later said, “We lost energy; we started to hang our heads a little bit.”

Run and gun

Coming off a cold second quarter, the Taft-based squad entered the court looking refreshed. Baltazar opened the scoring for the Green Archers, as he converted a jumper at the 9:03 mark. DLSU continued to put pressure on ADMU through the combined efforts of Kurt Lojera, Caracut, and Melecio. After an 11-4 run, La Salle trimmed down the deficit to 15, 57-42. 

Both teams were marred with their respective woes: La Salle was unable to take care of the ball, and Ateneo could not finish, although they were effectively crashing the boards. As a result, the game saw little action until Blue Eagle Bj Andrade knocked down a three-pointer at the 2:57 mark. Joaqui Manuel answered right away with a three-pointer of his own, but Mi. Nieto was able to complete a three-point play. As Malonzo scored on a putback and a three-pointer, the quarter ended at 66-50, in favor of Ateneo. 

After outscoring the ADMU Blue Eagles by six in the previous quarter, the DLSU Green Archers were gunning for a comeback heading into the fourth period. La Salle continued to trade baskets with Ateneo in the first four minutes of the final frame. At the 6:06 mark, however, Lojera’s jumper sparked a 6-0 run that cut the Katipunan-based squad’s lead down to nine, 71-62, which prompted ADMU head coach Tab Baldwin to call a timeout. 

With the La Salle faithful on their feet and the team roaring to erase the deficit, Baltazar was able to draw contact and get the shot to go with 3:57 remaining in the game. Blue Eagle Mamuyac, however, stepped up for his team and provided the answers they needed to stop the Green Archers’ run. With 59 seconds left on the clock, Mamuyac scored a putback and gave his team a 10-point lead, 79-69. In the dying seconds of the game, Manuel committed a foul out of frustration that sent Ma. Nieto to the free throw line. He converted both free throws to give Ateneo the 81-69 victory.

DLSU active consultant Jermaine Byrd discussed what he made of the team’s first outing, “It was a good game—both teams fought hard, the second quarter hurt us—we didn’t score, we put them on the foul line. I’m proud of our team, the best thing about this is we play in a few days—so we can forget about this one.”

The DLSU Green Archers look to bounce back in a match against the NU Bulldogs on Wednesday, September 11, at 12:30 pm at the same venue.

The scores

DLSU 69 – Malonzo 18, Caracut 14, Baltazar 10, Serrano 8, Melecio 7, Lojera 6, Manuel 6

ADMU 81 – Mi. Nieto 18, Ma. Nieto 15, Mamuyac 14, Navarro 8, Andrade 6, Kouame 6, Ravena 6, Tio 4, Belangel 2, Go 2
Quarter scores: 21-23, 29-51, 50-66, 69-81

Drew Beltran Acierto

By Drew Beltran Acierto

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

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