The DLSU Green Archers continue their losing skid after succumbing to their archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles, 68-54, in their UAAP Season 85 second-round matchup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum earlier tonight, November 5.
In the defeat, Evan Nelle carried the majority of the offensive workload, putting up an all-around statline of 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Bright Nwankwo got things done on both ends for the Green and White, tallying seven points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.
Dave Ildefonso led the scoring for Ateneo with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. Multiple Blue Eagles stepped up in what was a balanced scoring affair for them, as Forthsky Padrigao, Kai Ballungay, Ange Kouame, and Chris Koon posted 11 markers each.
Coming out of the gates, the Green Archers brought out intense defensive skills to get ahead of their archrivals. During this stretch, La Salle ignited the fastbreak as they had an early 6-0 lead before a BJ Andrade three-pointer at the 6:30 mark. As the Blue Eagles came within one—off a Dave Ildefonso 20-footer—the Green and White came right back with six consecutive points again by way of three Nelle free throws and a Nonoy fastbreak three-pointer to give La Salle a 13-6 edge. After the TV timeout at the 4:43 mark of the quarter, the team from Katipunan still struggled to score—as La Salle’s suffocating defense led to an early nine-point lead which was capped off by a Joaqui Manuel fastbreak lay-in. While a Padrigao jumper marked the last of Ateneo’s first-period attempts, DLSU’s pesky defense and uptempo offense gave them a six-point cushion, 16-10, to conclude the first quarter.
Slowing it down
Starting the second period, Ateneo retooled their game plan to combat La Salle’s run-and-gun playing style. The Katipunan-based squad played more physically while looking to get inside. This led to a Ballungay five-footer at the 9:26 mark to open the quarter’s scoring, 16-12. Both Nelle and Quiambao returned the favor, converting a short-corner floater and mid-range jumper, respectively, to bring their lead to eight, 20-12, at the 8:43 mark. Progressing with their physical play, the Blue Eagles inched within two by way of a Kouame score at the 6:50 mark that forced DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren to call a timeout.
Fresh from the huddle, a long stoppage came after Quiambao was booked with a technical foul, accusing the Green Archer of faking a foul. After the Ballungay technical freebie, Ildefonso supplemented it with a three-pointer at the 6:08 mark to give the Blue Eagles their first lead. ADMU continued to play toe-to-toe defense against DLSU where, unfortunately, the Taft-based squad couldn’t find the bottom of the net. EJ Abadam ended the drought with a mid-range jumper at the 3:10 mark to bring La Salle within two, 25-23. The Green and White quickly capitalized on the momentum built by an M. Phillips’ fastbreak, which earned them one freebie score, and a consecutive putback by Nwankwo to give themselves back the lead, 26-25, at the 2:40 mark. This led to an Ateneo timeout, where back-and-forth baskets from both squads came flowing right after. Finished off by a Penny Estacio three-pointer and a lay-in by Ateneo’s Geo Chiu, the halftime concluded with a 29-all deadlock.
After a low scoring affair in the first half, it was Ateneo who started to pull away in the third quarter. The Green and White struggled all throughout the period as their rivals went on a 9-0 run to start the half, 38-29. There was a breakdown on both ends of the floor as La Salle saw their defense deteriorate and offense stagnate. It was Nonoy who found the ball in his hands and stepped up, swishing the net with a three-ball to keep DLSU in the game. Ateneo then proceeded to force turnovers and score six straight points without answer from the Green Archers. The Blue Eagles’ lead would balloon to 15, 47-32, but Quiambao was able to score on a close-range attack to keep his side’s hope alive. The Taft offense would then start to sputter once more as they were unable to answer Ateneo’s efficient halfcourt. The third quarter closed with back-to-back shots from Padrigao and Koon, putting DLSU down even further, 56-39. Offense continued to dwindle for the Green Archers, especially with the lack of go-to bucket-getter Schonny Winston.
The final frame saw an attempted comeback from La Salle which unfortunately fell short. Going on an 8-0 run, DLSU was able to reduce the lead to 12, thanks to Manuel’s tough finish in the paint, 61-49. Both teams started to slow down, though the Green and White failed to find room to bounce back. Crawling to the finish line, the team from Taft was gassed and was able to muster a measly five points through free throws in the final stretch. The game concluded at 68-54, as the Green Archers failed to repeat their first-round success against the rival Blue Eagles.
DLSU will suit up against the Adamson University Soaring Falcons at 11 am on Thursday, November 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
ADMU 68 – Ildefonso 12, Padrigao 11, Ballungay 11, Kouame 11, Koon 11, Andrade 8, Gomez 2, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0
DLSU 54 – Nelle 15, Nwankwo 7, Quiambao 6, Nonoy 6, Austria 5, Estacio 5, Manuel 4, M. Phillips 3, Abadam 2, Macalalag 0
Quarter Scores: 16-10, 29-29, 56-39, 68-54