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UAAP: Green Archers trump Bulldogs, stay in Final Four race with 6-6 record

The DLSU Green Archers successfully avenged their UAAP Season 85 first-round loss against the second-seeded NU Bulldogs to cement their third straight victory, 63-58, earlier today, November 23, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. 

Rookie Penny Estacio played his best game of the season so far for the Green and White as he scored 13 points on an efficient 5-7 shooting clip that included three three-pointers, while big men Mike Philipps and Kevin Quiambao provided physicality and playmaking with 11 rebounds and five assists respectively.

For NU, Jake Figueroa led all scorers with 19 points in the losing effort, while forward John Lloyd Clemente crashed the boards for a double-double output and season-high 11 rebounds paired with 15 points.

Neck-in-neck race

The game started in favor of the Bulldogs who were able to establish an early 10-4 lead courtesy of a Clemente two-pointer and triple, complemented by Figueroa who chipped in four points of his own and Robert Minerva who made one free throw. Gaining their offensive rhythm, the Green Archers unloaded a 10-2 bomb to counter the NU scoring parade—led by Mark Nonoy with two consecutive layups, Jan Macalalag and Quiambao making one free throw apiece, and M. Phillips’ putback and two free throws, earning themselves their first lead in the ball game, 14-12. Mark Padrones responded for NU to tie the game at the end of the first quarter, 14-all.

The Green Archers were able to sustain their momentum entering the second frame. Earl Abadam and Kean Baclaan had a shootout to tie the game once again at 16-all, but an Evan Nelle basket and a free throw from M. Phillips gave the lead back to DLSU, 19-16. La Salle was able to maintain their three-point advantage until the 23-20 mark when Palacielo and Enriquez converted a floater and two free throws to take the lead back, 24-23. The momentum did not last for long for NU though, as La Salle uncorked a 9-4 run—seven of which coming from Raven Cortez and two off a layup from Nonoy, closing out the second quarter with a four-point lead, 32-28. 

Man in charge

The Taft-based squad finally found the mark from long range after missing all seven of their attempts from distance in the first half, as Estacio caught fire and hit three straight treys, giving DLSU their first double-digit lead at the halfway point of the quarter. The Bulldogs struggled to find an answer for the surging rookie, who hit two more mid-range jumpers to bring his total tally in the quarter to 13 points, outscoring the entire Bulldogs, 13-9, as DLSU maintained a 48-37 lead going into the fourth.

A Nelle layup in traffic ended a three-minute scoring drought for DLSU in the opening of the fourth quarter, which he quickly followed up with a crucial three-point bucket a couple of possessions later, halting a mini NU run. With five minutes left, it turned into a battle of two different offenses, with the Green Archers playing the whole 24-seconds of the shot clock in halfcourt, while the Bulldogs tried their hardest to score in transition. DLSU managed to strike first via a downtown bomb from Nelle and an and1 putback from M. Phillips, but NU showed grit, keeping themselves in the game with fastbreak points off of turnovers forced from their full-court trap. After a back-and-forth quarter, the Green Archers eventually pulled away, with Quiambao putting the exclamation mark with a monster dunk to seal their sixth win of the season, 63-58.

DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren credited his team’s praiseworthy strong play in the third quarter for the crucial win stating, “I warned the team that we always come up flat, noh, coming into the third quarter, and the team was able to respond well and we were able to take the game from them in the third quarter, so I’m proud of how they played”. 

Now holding an even 6-6 record, the Green Archers will look to keep their three-game winning streak alive and continue their push for the Final Four when they face the UE Red Warriors at 3 pm on Saturday, November 26, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

DLSU 63 – Estacio 13, Nelle 10, Philipps 9, Nonoy 7, Cortez 7, Quiambao 6, Abadam 4, Austria 2, B. Philipps 2, Nwankwo 2, Macalalag 1, Winston 0

NU 58 – Figueroa 19, Clemente 15, Manansala 5, Enriquez 4, Baclaan 4, John 4, Palacielo 2, Mahinay 2, Padrones 2, Minerva 1

Quarter Scores: 14-14, 32-28, 48-37, 63-58

By Andrea Ysobel Bacolor

By Julio Amir Tampis

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