The DLSU Green Archers marked their third game of UAAP Season 85 with a victory over their almost five-year losing spell against archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles, 83-78, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum earlier today, October 9.
Schonny Winston paved the way for DLSU, scoring 25 points while dishing out six assists. Evan Nelle and Raven Cortez chipped in 10 and eight points, respectively. Meanwhile, Michael Phillips played his part with 11 rebounds to show off his defensive prowess.
Angelo Kouame led the ADMU Blue Eagles in a valiant effort by the team from Katipunan, scoring 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds and four blocks. Bryson Ballungay also made an impact in his La Salle-Ateneo debut, tallying a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The first quarter began in favor of La Salle, with CJ Austria and Penny Estacio scoring a free throw and a layup, respectively, to pad the score at 3-0. After an exchange of baskets, the Green and White scored two consecutive three-pointers, courtesy of Austria and Ben Phillips. However, Ballungay was quick to answer back for Ateneo with a three-pointer of their own, tying the score at 14-all. Three minutes into the first period, the team from Taft fell short with Mark Nonoy sustaining an injury that required him to be helped off the court.
Ateneo’s pesky defense concluded the quarter as DLSU struggled to catch up. Timely misses from the Taft-based squad fortunately led to a Cortez putback. Despite this, the Green Archers succumbed in the first quarter down by 10, 28-18.
Opening the second quarter, La Salle immediately scored off a pair of three-point shots from Nelle and Kevin Quiambao. Slowly gaining their momentum, a putback layup from Cortez continued the scoring rally for the Green Archers. Following this, a jumper from Abadam allowed the Green Archers to retake the lead, 31-28. Unfortunately, Ateneo’s Bryan Andrade tied the score in an instant with a three-pointer, 31-all.
The Green and White managed to bounce back by cutting the lead to four after the red-hot Winston converted another jumpshot, 44-40. After a DLSU timeout, Kouame scored for the team from Katipunan, maintaining their lead at 47-42. With less than a minute remaining, Winston came in clutch for La Salle in an attempt to bring the game within one, 47-46, to close the first half of play.
Battle of two stars
Coming off a back-and-forth first half, DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren looked to give star guard Winston more touches after he started to heat up in the previous half. After a Kouame swipe translated to a Dave Ildefonso slam, Winston answered back with a jumper from his hot zone—the foul-line. Koaume did not falter in the next possession though, as a couple of offensive boards resulted in a putback, extending Ateneo’s lead to six, 56-50.
The third period subsequently turned into a Winston versus Kouame affair, as the pair took charge of their respective teams’ next four field goals. Winston showcased his on-ball wizardry while Koaume showed off his dominant inside presence. After freebies from M. Phillips at the 2:43 mark, the Taft-based squad’s pesky defense continued to limit Ateneo’s offense all the way to the final minute of the quarter. A Bright Nwankwo block and an Earl Abadam backdoor layup capped off the third period as the Green and White led by a tight two points, 64-62, heading into the layover quarter.
Revamped type of finishing
La Salle’s hard-nosed defense continued to work wonders in the opening of the fourth quarter, as Ateneo couldn’t buy a bucket in the first two minutes of the period after Ateneo’s Geo Chiu stopped the drubbing. Following this up at the 8:06 mark, Ateneo’s Kai Ballungay hits a three to give the Katipunan-based squad the lead momentarily, 67-65. Succeedingly, Nelle shakes off his playmaking rust with a feed to Abadam to put the score at a 67-all dreadlock.
As the game turned to its final minutes, the Green Archers had an answer for every Blue Eagle retailiation. This was spearheaded by Nelle, as the floor general answered Ateneo’s three-pointer and lay-in with his own—eventually tying the game at 72-apiece with 5:10 to go. M. Phillips’ defense then led to baskets for Winston and Abadam, as the Blue Eagles saw their deficit grow to four, 81-76, at the 1:19 mark. In the final minute of the game, Ballungay’s layup—fresh off an ADMU head coach Tab Baldwin timeout—went into naught as Quiambao’s pass deflections turned into Nelle’s free throws, securing the game in favor of DLSU, 83-78.
Sharing his thoughts on the rivalry game victory, DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren marveled on the team’s hard work as he expressed, “The boys really worked hard. We worked and prepared for Ateneo. Even though we were down, we were able to regroup nung second quarter and we even got the lead. So, hats off to my guys.”
The seasoned coach also shares that he always had confidence that his side could do it, “I told them to never doubt that we can match up against Ateneo.”
The DLSU Green Archers will aim to ride the momentous win against the UE Red Warriors on Wednesday, October 12, at 4:30 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 83 – Winston 25, Nelle 10, Cortez 8, Quiambao 7, Abadam 7, M. Phillips 6, Austria 6, B. Phillips 6, Estacio 5, Nwankwo 3, Nonoy 0, Manuel 0
ADMU 78 – Kouame 22, Ballungay 19, Andrade 8, Ildefonso 7, Padrigao 7, Gomez 5, Lazaro 4, Garcia 3, Chiu 2, Koon 1, Daves 0, Quitevis 0
Quarter Scores: 28-18, 47-46, 64-62, 83-78