UAAP: Nelle misses game-tying layup in OT against Soaring Falcons as Green Archers fall to 3-4

The DLSU Green Archers suffered a painful loss at the hands of the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 86-84, to wrap up the first round of the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Basketball tournament at the Ynares Center Antipolo. The Green Archers drop to a 3-4 win-loss record—an abysmal sixth place for the Green and White. 

Kevin Quiambao led the Green Archers with 20 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Schonny Winston struggled again tonight with 17 points on a measly six of 20 shooting clip,  as he cramped up toward the end of the tightly-contested ballgame. Evan Nelle finished with a near triple-double outing as he recorded nine points, eight boards, and nine assists. 

Meanwhile, Adamson superstar Jerom Lastimosa shined earlier tonight, posting a career-high 29 markers to go along with eight assists, six rebounds, and a whopping eight turnovers. The King Falcon was supported by Joshua Yerro, Lenda Douanga, and Cedrick Manzano, who each posted 13 points.

Helter-skelter basketball

The Soaring Falcons began the critical matchup on a scintillating pace as they built an early 12-0 lead in the first period. Lastimosa was the catalyst, as Adamson’s game plan entering the contest was to push the pace and create early offensive attacks against one of the best defensive teams in the UAAP.

DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren adjusted quickly as Quiambao’s insertion prompted the Green Archers to manufacture quick buckets. The Taft-based squad  responded with their own run as the 14-1 spurt was highlighted by Winston’s and1 conversion to put La Salle on top, 14-13.

Despite the third unsportsmanlike foul of the season for Nelle, the threat of another suspension did not hinder the Green and White’s momentum as the first quarter ended all knotted up at 18-all.

The second period began with quick buckets from Quiambao once again, but it was Nelle’s playmaking prowess that gave DLSU the edge at the early juncture of this game. The team from Taft tallied 14 first-half assists—six of which came from Nelle, matching the whole Adamson squad. 

Through Nelle’s facilitating, the Green Archers found easy buckets as Winston’s layup from his hockey assist gave La Salle a four-point cushion, 30-26. After Vince Magbuhos tied the match at 33-all, Michael Phillips wrested control of the next couple of possessions as his two successive blocks on Douanga and rim-rattling jam gave the edge back to La Salle. Adamson’s hustle and determination kept them in the game as Yerro’s layup before the halftime break cut the Taft-based squad’s lead to one, 40-39.

Scintillating second half

La Salle struggled to get their offense to click coming out of the halftime break. They squandered the lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter and found themselves behind, 42-40. The two teams traded baskets against each other’s tight defenses until Nelle found himself open for a three-pointer at the top of the key to regain the lead for the Green Archers, 48-44, with just over five minutes left in the period. 

From there, La Salle seemed poised to take control of the ball game, as a timeout by Adamson head coach Nash Racela was not enough to stop the Green and White’s charge to an eight-point advantage, 59-51. Despite losing ground for most of the third quarter, AdU rallied behind the energy of Manzano and Lastimosa to bring themselves within two after an 11-4 run. The former ended the quarter in emphatic fashion, banking in a buzzer-beating three-pointer to enter the final frame with the Soaring Falcons up by one, 60-59.

Neither team backed down as La Salle and Adamson traded shot-for-shot in the fourth quarter, constantly exchanging the lead and forcing deadlocks. It wasn’t until the four-minute mark that the team from Taft gained slight separation after a Quiambao three-pointer and a pair of CJ Austria free throws, 75-69. The game appeared done and dusted after M. Phillips attacked the rack for an and1 jam, drawing Manzano’s fifth foul to put La Salle up, 78-71. Unfortunately for DLSU, Lastimosa’s evening was far from over. He sparked Adamson to a 9-1 run, which was capitalized by his assist on an overtime-forcing three-pointer from Douanga.

All too well

The Green and White failed to hit their stride in overtime as the affair remained close. Douanga opened up the scoring inside before M. Phillips finished off an and1 for the game’s 16th lead change. Lastimosa and Nelle traded tough layups inside as La Salle went up, 84-83. It was the Soaring Falcons who had the last say of the game as V. Magbuhos hit a dagger three-pointer to give Adamson the win, 86-84, with Nelle further missing a layup to force a second overtime.

On the team’s directions from now, Pumaren notes that his side has to refocus as there is still much to endure, “For the second round, we’re just gonna play more consistent basketball—the La Salle [brand of] basketball. We’ll take it one game at a time, possession per possession.” He further comments that his side will need vigor in approaching their following games, “The game is 40 minutes [long] and we cannot come out there flat.”

After suffering their second consecutive loss, the Green Archers will await the schedule for the second round of UAAP Season 85 as they look to regain their lost momentum.

The Scores:

DLSU 84 – Quiambao 20, Winston 17, M. Phillips 17, Austria 16, Nelle 9, Cortez 2, Manuel 2, Nonoy 1, Abadam 0, B. Phillips 0, Nwankwo 0, Macalalag 0

AdU 86 – Lastimosa 29, Yerro 13, Douanga 13, Manzano 13, Magbuhos 8, Flowers 4, Jaymalin 4, Sabandal 2, Torres 0, Fuentebella 0, Colonia 0, Barasi Jr. 0
Quarter Scores: 18-18, 40-39, 59-60, 79-79 (OT), 84-86

Diego Vergel de Dios

By Diego Vergel de Dios

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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