UAAP: Five Green Archers in double figures as DLSU dominates FEU on both ends in season opener, 87-76

The DLSU Green Archers walked off the court victorious against the FEU Tamaraws in their first game of UAAP Season 86, 87-76, earlier today, October 1, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Player of the Game winner Kevin Quiambao led the balanced attack of La Salle with a monster double-double. The reigning Rookie of the Year chipped in 14 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out three assists. Complementing this, point guard Evan Nelle contributed an all-around performance, tallying 15 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists of his own. Meanwhile, center Michael Phillips scored 13 points and had a game-leading four steals. CJ Austria and Francis Escandor also joined the offensive rally tallying 12 points and 11 points, respectively, rounding up the evenly distributed scoring effort as five Green Archers scored double figures.

In the losing effort, Xyrus Torres chipped in 19 points and four threes for FEU. Tamaraws Jorick Bautista tallied 12 points and five rebounds, while Pat Sleat had 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Fast-paced start

From the tip-off, both teams showed  that it was going to be a fast-paced game with intensity from both ends of the floor. True to this, Escandor scored the first points of the game by completing a tough and-one play before an M. Phillips shot from beyond the arc, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Tamaraws James Tempra and LJ Gonzales responded with a couple of layups to tie the game, 6-all.

The game came to a deadlock at 12-all, but a Mark Nonoy corner three brought back the momentum to the side of La Salle, 15-12. Nelle would follow by draining one himself from downtown, 18-14. Then, with just under two minutes left in the quarter, Austria would score six straight points until the buzzer sounded, keeping the Green Archers in control to make an excellent opening for the first half, 24-19.

Two-way masterclass

Coming out of the huddle, DLSU would continue their offensive onslaught. Nonoy gave La Salle a boost early in the quarter with a three from the wing and a steal to a fastbreak layup for the Green and White, 30-24. A variety of Green Archers would also contribute to the lead, namely Escandor, Earl Abadam, Jonnel Policarpio, and Quiambao. However, Nelle would prove to be the star in the final five minutes of the first half by attacking the paint, drawing fouls, and making free throws. La Salle’s starting point guard would have 10 points already as both teams headed to the locker room for the halftime break, 48-39.

Balancing their shot-making, DLSU showcased excellent defensive plays in the second quarter. From Joaqui Manuel drawing an offensive foul, to Bright Nwankwo anchoring the paint, Ben Phillips grabbing monster rebounds, and La Salle wings intercepting passes, key possessions were created from the tenacity and rhythmic efforts on the defensive end. It was truly a two-way masterclass for the Taft-based team, reflecting the new system implemented by new Head Coach Topex Robinson.

Pulling away

Coming into the third quarter, the Green Archers displayed good defense to keep the Tamaraws at bay. As a dominant fast play from Abadam to Escandor to shoot a basket, Nelle converted a layup, which was then followed by a Quiambao dunk at the 7:56 mark, 56-41. An exchange of balls took place with both teams failing to make an offense until Nelle finally shot from the three-point line putting La Salle up further, 61-43. 

The Tamaraws were challenged by the Green and White as they struggled to make an effective offense until Cholo Añonuevo boosted the crowd’s energy with a one hand slam dunk. Gonzales followed this act with a three-pointer to cut the lead by nine points, 69-60. With less than three minutes remaining in the match, DLSU maintained their offense as M. Philips drilled a two-hand slam dunk assisted by Quiambao who also converted a jump shot right after, 86-73. DLSU ultimately exhibited a domineering performance in this match, finishing the game with a double-digit lead, 87-76.

Commenting on his performance, Nelle said, “As a team, we have a lot to improve on…I wasn’t executing plays. I was doing whatever I wanted to do. I wasn’t following the system. So, I just have to work on that, control my team, trust coach, and we’ll be alright. This is Game One.”

Quiambao shared his thoughts on their upcoming rivalry game against Ateneo, saying that it would be a new challenge that would require his side to focus and improve on their team performance before their rivalry game.

As they continue their redemption journey, the Green Archers’ ambition will be tested early in their second game against their archrival the ADMU Blue Eagles on Wednesday, October 4 at 6 pm in the same venue.

The Scores: 

DLSU 87 – Nelle 15, Quiambao 14, Philips 13, Austria 12, Escandor 11, Nonoy 8, B. Philips 4, Abadam 2, Manuel 2, Nwankwo 2, Policarpio 2, Macalalag 2, David 0, Gollena 0

FEU 76 – Torres 19, Bautista 12, Sleat 11, Gonzales 9, Añonuevo 8, Alforque 4, Ona 4, Bagunu 3, Faty 2, Tempra 2, Competente 2

Quarter Scores: 24-19, 48-39, 67-55, 87-76

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

Gab Ortiz

By Gab Ortiz

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