The DLSU Green Archers asserted their supremacy after posting a lopsided 112-83 victory against the UST Growling Tigers at the SM Mall of Asia Arena earlier today, April 19.
Deschon Winston spearheaded the scoring parade for the Green Archers as he recorded his career-high in points with 33—matching FEU Tamaraw RJ Abarrientos’ UAAP season-high tally back in the first round—and decorated with four rebounds. Team captain Justine Baltazar complemented Winston’s monstrous performance with 17 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Three other players delivered a double-digit outing: Evan Nelle with 16 points, Michael Phillips with 15, and Kurt Lojera with 10.
On the other squad, five players came out in double digits for UST: Paul Manalang with 14 points, Bryan Santos with 13, Sherwin Concepcion with 12, Nicael Cabanero with 11, and Dave Ando with 10—but unfortunately went to naught.
Establishing early dominance
The DLSU Green Archers cruised to perfection early on after uncorking an explosive 18-0 run to build a 29-8 advantage with less than two minutes left in the opening quarter. Winston led the scoring parade with seven points off two mid-range jump shots and a triple while big man Baltazar paced with six points. The Green-and-White showcased their impressive defensive prowess in the opening period, forcing turnovers that led to succeeding points.
However, the hot shooting of the Green Archers was cut off after Concepcion buried a three-pointer to rally his team, 29-11. Baltazar answered back with a triple of his own, but Concepcion was quick to return the favor by making another shot from behind the arc, 32-14—sparking the Tigers’ late 8-0 run to cut the deficit down to 13, 32-19. Meanwhile, DLSU came back just in time to extend the lead back to 36-21 at the end of the first quarter.
Coming into the second frame, UST was off to a better offensive rhythm with Joshua Fontanilla and Ando scoring back-to-back baskets. M. Phillips was quick to respond for the Green Archers with a floater, which was followed through by Lojera, not allowing the Tigers to inch closer, 42-25, with 7:32 left in the quarter. Both teams went on to exchange baskets one after the other to exhibit a scorching scoring showdown.
UST’s 25-point performance in the second quarter was courtesy of skipper Manalang who scored 12 points off three three-point shots and three free throws. Meanwhile, M. Phillips steered the Archers’ 22-point output in the second frame with 12 points to stretch the lead to a commanding 58-46 at the half.
Hardly breaking a sweat
With their fired up offense on full display in the first half, the Green Archers successfully carried on with their momentum as they entered the third quarter of the game. Winston made everything look easy as he mounted an early break away with a series of contested layups, mid-range jumpers, and a contested three-pointer to open the period with a 21-point lead, 67-46. But JC Garing answered with a much needed three-pointer to wake the silent España-based squad to up their game to 67-49.
Winston was not yet finished with his scoring barrage, however, as he successfully knocked down back-to-back mid-range jumpers again. Santos tried to break DLSU’s successful run after knocking down another three-pointer, 74-52. This only made the Green Archers hungry for more points, with Winston once again nailing two mid-range jump shots. Adding to the burning hands of Winston, Nelle also drained another three to seal the quarter, 88-61.
A commotion marked the start of the fourth quarter with DLSU’s Deo Cuajao committing a personal foul while Fontanilla’s unsportsmanlike foul on Cuajao was called in the same play. Still, with a convincing lead, Nelle buried a three-pointer quickly, followed by Lojera’s floater to further extend their point advantage over UST. Nelle then dropped the ball again from beyond the arc to record DLSU’s three-digit performance, 100-69.
Santos responded with a three-pointer only to be answered again by the perfect three-point shooting of Nelle, tallying his fourth in the game. M. Phillips also landed his first slam of the game, 105-75.
With a comfortable lead on their hands, Green Archers head coach Derrick Pumaren gave Ralph Cu, Donn Lim, Emman Galman, and Paul Turco their much awaited appearance in the game. Galman wasted no time and contributed five points with a drive to the basket and a three-pointer. The Green Archers kept the Growling Tigers at a minimum toward the final minutes of the game to close the showdown with a commanding 29-point lead over UST, 112-83.
Going as planned
With stellar offense shown by the Green Archers in today’s game, Pumaren could not help but praise the hard work of his players. “We had our best offensive game so far this season. We were able to execute and [to] run what we were supposed to run,” he lauded.
Also pointing out Winston’s dominance in today’s matchup, the head coach commented, “Deschon really shot well today. The only guy that could stop him was me because I pulled him out [late in the game].”
Winston also made sure to credit his teammates in his performance. “It was a team effort. We had 25 assists. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates finding me and giving me good looks.”
Following their victory against the Growling Tigers, the Green Archers will gear up to face the UE Red Warriors on Thursday, April 21, at 7 pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 112 – Winston 33, Baltazar 17, Nelle 16, M. Phillips 15, Lojera 10, Nonoy 5, Cuajao 5, Galman 5, Escandor 2, B. Phillips 2, Cu 2, Lim 0, Nwankwo 0, Turco 0
UST 83 – Manalang 14, Santos 13, Concepcion 12, Cabanero 11, Ando 10, Fontanilla 8, Garing 6, Gomez de Liano 4, Sumudio 3, Manaytay 2, Gesalem 0, Mantua 0, Yongco 0, Pangilinan 0, Herrera 0
Quarter Scores: 36-21, 58-46, 86-61, 112-83