UAAP: Green Archers get back in stride, defeat Soaring Falcons, 68-61

Earlier today at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, the DLSU Green Archers found themselves back in the win column after they defeated the AdU Soaring Falcons, 68-61. With the win, the Green-and-White now sports a 2-3 card.

Head coach Gian Nazario shared what it was like going into the game today with a 1-3 record, “It’s been tough for us; we really felt the pressure as a team.”

Justine Baltazar led the Green Archers to their second win of the season, as he recorded 21 points and 14 rebounds. Team captain Andrei Caracut and Jamie Malonzo also scored in double-digits with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

In the losing effort, Jerrick Ahanmisi and Val Chauca posted 13 points apiece, followed by Simon Camacho, who tallied 12 points and five rebounds.

Turnaround of events

The first period of the match started slow for the Green Archers, which was reminiscent of their previous games. The team from Taft struggled to find good looks, while the San Marcelino-based squad was efficiently making their shots. After Jerom Lastimosa’s corner three-pointer at the 3:34 mark, the Soaring Falcons were up by 12 points, 17-5.

Nazario discussed that the team turned things around after falling behind at the start of the match by “[sticking] together, [trusting] what [they were] doing…no matter how bad the start is, it’s still a four quarter game.”

The Green-and-White showed signs of life as they tried to put a stop to the bleeding with an 8-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from the elbow by Kurt Lojera to cut the deficit to four, 17-13, with 2:40 left to play in the first period. Falcons Pong Zaldivar and Egie Mojica answered back for their squad with a push shot and a layup, respectively, but Baltazar closed out the quarter with a layup to bring DLSU within six, 21-15.

The second quarter saw Adamson’s Lenda Douanga sit out due to foul trouble, which the Archers made sure to take advantage of. Joaqui Manuel opened the account of La Salle with a three-point shot off an Encho Serrano assist at the 9:33 mark. Mojica responded by draining a three-pointer of his own, but back-to-back shots from beyond the arc by Manuel and Baltazar forced Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren to call a timeout as the Lasallians went on an 11-3 run to gain the lead, 26-24.

The Taft-based squad continued to play a strong second period as they went on to outscore AdU by 14 points in the quarter and ended the half with an eight-point advantage, 41-33. 

Grit and determination

With Douanga now back on the floor for the San Marcelino-based squad, the Lasallians could not easily penetrate the paint. The second half started with both teams having trouble taking care of the ball, as a series of turnovers delayed the action until Caracut’s fast break layup found the bottom of the net at the 8:10 mark.

Ahanmisi, meanwhile, opened the scoring for his side as he was able to complete a three-point play. AdU continued to put pressure on the team from Taft as Mojica made his layup after a backdoor cut with 6:30 remaining in the period. With the Falcons threatening to make a comeback and take advantage of DLSU being in the penalty, the Green Archers’ coaching staff called a timeout.

The Green-and-White continued to struggle on the offensive end, as Adamson’s interior defense forced them to take tough, well-contested shots. On the other hand, the team from San Marcelino found their groove offensively to cut La Salle’s lead to three points, 52-49, at the end of the third quarter.

The final period of the match saw both teams step on the court determined to win. The Green Archers were first to the board as Aljun Melecio’s free throw and Lojera’s Euro step finish put DLSU up by six, 55-49. After a timeout, the Falcons came out hot and went on an 8-2 run to finally regain the lead, 58-57, with 4:48 to go in the game. 

The Archers, however, were adamant to notch their second win of the tournament. With 57 seconds left on the clock, Caracut drained a three-pointer at the top of the key to put his team up by five points, 63-58. However, Chauca was able to draw a foul in the next possession and made all three of his free throws to nullify Caracut’s basket.

With a two-point lead and 28 seconds left before the final buzzer, Caracut then connected on a long-distance three-pointer to give his team the five-point cushion. After a series of fouls from the Falcons to stall time, the Lasallians emerged with a seven-point victory, 68-61.

The DLSU Green Archers will look to continue their winning ways as they go up against the UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday, September 25, at 4 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The scores:

DLSU 68 – Baltazar 21, Caracut 15, Malonzo 12, Manuel 6, Lojera 5, Melecio 4, Bates 3, Bartlett 2

AdU 61 – Ahanmisi 13, Chauca 13, Camacho 12, Mojica 9, Douanga 7, Lastimosa 3, Fermin 2, Zaldivar 2 

Quarter scores: 15-21, 41-33, 52-49, 68-61

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

Leave a Reply