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UAAP: Missed opportunities condemn Green Archers, yield to Tamaraws, 66-55

Earlier today at the Mall of Asia Arena, the DLSU Green Archers were handed their second consecutive loss by the FEU Tamaraws, 66-55. La Salle now holds a 1-3 slate, while FEU evens their card to 2-2. 

Pat Tchuente led the Tamaraws with 19 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 81.82 percent from the field. Wendell Comboy and Rey Bienes followed with 11 and nine points, respectively.  

Jamie Malonzo continued to be the bright spot in La Salle’s slow start this season, recording 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. The second highest scorer for the Green-and-White was team captain Andrei Caracut with 10 points.

Dismal opening half 

The FEU squad opened scoring in the first quarter when Tchuente found space inside to lay-in a basket at the 9:35 mark. DLSU answered back with a Malonzo jumper and hook-shot in quick succession. Neither team could establish a comfortable lead in the first quarter as both sides persisted with tough defense in the paint. 

Malonzo and Lj Gonzales traded shots from beyond the arc with 6:32 left in the quarter, as the Green-and-White led the Tamaraws, 11-7. The Green-and-Gold went on a 9-0 run late in the first period to establish the first commanding lead of the game. The first quarter ended with the Taft-based squad trailing FEU, 19-14.

The second quarter opened to a slow start as Caracut and Tchuente both missed their chances from the free throw line. But it was Tchuente who redeemed himself through a mid-range jumper, with 7:20 left in the half, to initiate the scoring in the second quarter. 

The Tamaraws continued the run they started in the first quarter, outscoring the Green Archers, 22-3, until the 3:13 mark in the period. The Taft-based squad tried to slow their opponents down, but failure to rebound on the defensive end proved costly. La Salle’s sole points during the run came from a Malonzo three-pointer from the wing. 

The Green-and-White were offered a lifeline late in the second period when the FEU squad ran into foul trouble; however, the Lasallians were unable to capitalize, missing five out of six shots from the line. After Justine Baltazar, Malonzo, and Encho Serrano scored six straight points, the Archers finally looked like they had wind in their sails but ended the first half still down, 36-24.

Falling short of a comeback

The Green Archers started the second half with high-octane offense. After Tamaraw Bienes opened the scoring for his squad, the Green-and-White went on a 15-8 run, which was capped by a Melecio layup off a Caracut assist at the 5:11 mark. FEU head coach Olsen Racela was prompted to call a timeout as the Taft-based squad was finding their groove offensively, trimming the FEU lead to five points, 44-39. 

As both teams could not find the bottom of the net, the game lost its action for several minutes until Ken Tuffin broke the ice with a fast break layup at the 1:23 mark. Lojera answered by converting a layup of his own with 1:05 left in the third period. After Tchuente’s three-point play, Laput closed out the quarter with a layup off Melecio’s assist to cut DLSU’s deficit back to six, 49-43.

After a surge in the third quarter, the Green Archers had set out to accomplish a comeback in the fourth. Scoring in the quarter was opened by FEU after they converted a layup after a no-goaltending call by the referees on Melecio’s attempt. Serrano answered back for the Green-and-White, but the Tamaraws found ways to keep the Lasallians at bay. 

The Taft-based squad continued to fight on defense, but missed clear opportunities even after forcing turnovers. They proceeded to make attempts from beyond the arc late into the fourth, but their shots had not hit the mark. FEU, on the other hand, capitalized on the offensive end. The dagger came from a Comboy three-pointer that extended his team’s lead to nine points, 62-53, with 2:23 left in the game.

Failure to convert clear-cut chances and difficulties with rebounding the basketball ultimately condemned the Archers to their third loss of the season. Active consultant Jermaine Byrd shared his thoughts on the team’s performance, “Basketball is a make or miss game. Our best players got the shots I wanted them to have, they got the shots that they [wanted] to have, but we just didn’t make it.”

With Byrd asserting that the team will “not stop fighting” and will “keep grinding”, the DLSU Green Archers are determined to bounce back in a matchup against the AdU Soaring Falcons on Saturday, September 21, at 4 pm at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The scores:

DLSU 55 – Malonzo 20, Caracut 10, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Melecio 5, Bates 2, Lojera 2, Meeker 2, Pado 2.

FEU 66 – Tchuente 19, Comboy 11, Bienes 9, Ebona 8, Alforque 7, Gonzales 5, Tuffin 4, Torres 3.
Quarter scores: 14-19, 24-36, 43-49, 55-66.

Nico Meer

By Nico Meer

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

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