The DLSU Green Archers demolished the UST Growling Tigers for their first win in UAAP Season 85, 83-63, at the PhilSports Arena earlier today, October 5.
Schonny Winston led the way again for La Salle, scoring 19 points to go with three assists and two steals. CJ Austria contributed 13 points, while Michael Phillips and Kevin Quiambao chipped in 11-apiece.
In a losing effort, Michael Pangilinan filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds, and three assists for UST. Meanwhile, Dom Cabañero, Paul Manalang, and Adama Faye each chipped in ten markers for the Growling Tigers.
Game of runs
After a heartbreaking loss in their season opener, the team from Taft showcased their trademark suffocating defense right from the get-go. After a made basket from Austria, UST head coach Bal David called an early timeout at the 9:11 mark. However, the España-based squad struggled to execute their plays as Austria scored inside again, making a bonus free throw to give the Taft-based squad an early 5-0 lead. In their next play down, Cabañero took matters into his own hands, countering with a turnaround jumper for the Growling Tigers’ first basket, 5-2. The Green and White went on a 6-0 blitz as they turned defensive stops to baskets. Cabañero once again took on the offensive load for UST, keeping his side afloat with back-to-back baskets and bringing the score up to 11-6. Once Quiambao checked in the game, the rookie was swift to shake off his dismal UAAP debut. He provided instant offense off the bench, scoring two triples to extend the lead to nine, 20-11. Both teams exchanged baskets in the dying minutes of the opening frame, as DLSU maintained their nine-point lead at the end of the quarter, 30-21.
After a high-octane start to the match, the second quarter featured less offensive firepower, with both squads tightening up their defense. Jr Calimag broke the scoring drought with a three-pointer, to which Earl Abadam answered back with a layup, 22-14. DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren called an early timeout at the 7:57 mark of the second quarter after a three-pointer from Manalang and a layup from JC Garing bared the Tigers’ claws. The scoring barrage continued for the team from España, as Faye and Manalang scored inside to take the lead, 33-32. After UST took the lead for the first time in the game, Winston began to torch the opposing defense, scoring nine points straight for DLSU in the second quarter as M. Phillips anchored the defense on the other end. Cabañero had the last say in the half, capping off the quarter with a layup from a La Salle turnover. However, the Green Archers still went into the break with a seven-point lead, 47-40.
Blowing the game open
DLSU came out of the break waxing hot, instantly increasing their lead to double digits, 52-40, after a M. Phillips lay-in and a Winston three-pointer. The latter stayed aggressive for the Green Archers, getting to the foul line and creating opportunities for his teammates. As the quarter drew on, the Phillips brothers looked to attack, going on a six-point run of their own.
Quiambao capped off what was a terrific quarter for his side with a no-look find to Austria in the final minute. La Salle dominated the team from España on the defensive end, allowing their opposition only six points in the quarter. The Green and White pressed in the full court while denying King Tiger Cabañero any opportunities to create any opportunities for his side.
The two teams immediately exchanged punches in the final period, with the score quickly rising to 71-52 with less than eight minutes in the game. DLSU’s offense slowed down but their defense kept them in control of the game. Penny Estacio hit a three-pointer before the halfway mark of the quarter to bring his team’s lead to 20, 78-54.
Despite UST’s best efforts, La Salle remained at the helm. Ice Hontiveros sealed the game with a three-pointer as the Green and White secured their first win, 83-53.
DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren shares the importance of moving on from their previous heartbreaker, “After that loss [in the] last game versus UP, I told the boys the most important thing we [have got to] do is bounce back hard today.” He furthers that the season is still young and that they still have much to do, “We fell short [in the] last game, we were not able to close out, but we cannot dwell on that, the season just started.”
Quiambao also admits that he felt that he needed to take a bigger role due to the absence of starting point guard Evan Nelle, “Nag-step up ako dahil kulang kami, wala [si Evan Nelle]. ‘Yung resiliency ng team nakita naman namin. Maganda ang pinakita ng bawat isa sa amin.”
(I had to step up because our team was missing some people, Evan Nelle sat out. We saw the resiliency of our team. Everyone had a good showing.)
The DLSU Green Archers will look for a long-awaited win against archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles, on Sunday, October 9, at 4:30 pm at the Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU 83 – Winston 19, Austria 13, M. Phillips 11, Quiambao 11, Abadam 6, Estacio 6, B. Phillips 5, Nonoy 3, Blanco 3, Cortez 2, Manuel 2, Nwankwo 2, Buensalida 0, Escandor 0, Macalalag 0
UST 16 – Pangilinan 11, Cabañero 10, Manalang 10, Faye 10, Garing 6, Lazarte 5, Escubido 4, Mantua 3, Camalig 3, Laure 1, Duremdes 0, Gesalam 0, Herrera 0, Magdangal 0, Manaytay 0
Quarter Scores: 30-21, 47-40, 65-46, 83-63