UAAP: Green Archers go on fiery second-half run to tame Soaring Falcons, 71-58

Following a heartbreaking exit in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the hands of the AdU Soaring Falcons, the DLSU Green Archers entered their first clash with the team this Season 86 looking to avenge their defeat earlier today, October 11, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

In a soaring victory, the Green Archers now hold a 3-1 win-loss record to start the tournament. The game was a hotly-contested affair throughout the first half, but the Green Archers made a statement in the latter half and annihilated the Soaring Falcons, 71-58.

Kevin Quiambao was the crucial factor in La Salle’s win by tallying 17 points—15 of which came in the second half. Along with this impressive scoring output, Quiambao also notched a double-double by collecting 10 rebounds and six assists. Other key contributors for the team were floor general Evan Nelle contributed 12 points and a massive 15 rebounds, as well as human highlight reel Mike Phillips who scored 14 points on a 60-percent field goal shooting as well as nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. 

In a losing effort, Jhon Calisay led the way for Adamson with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Even after participating in the team’s warmups, king Falcon Jerom Lastimosa is yet to see action in this year’s tournament, following a horrific partial ACL tear before the start of the season. 

Anyone’s game

Both teams got off to a slow start in the game’s opening four minutes as they traded back-and-forth baskets. The Green Archers took a 9-5 lead after a spin on the low block from Jonnel Policarpio—his second-straight starting nod. Calisay quickly answered back for the team from Ermita by knocking down his second triple of the game with 5:30 on the clock, 9-8. 

The stagnant scoring affair continued throughout the next two minutes of the period as neither team could buy a bucket. With both sides having multiple miscues on the offense, La Salle got their big break with three minutes remaining in the quarter through a steal on their patented press defense which led to a thunderous two-handed jam by Mike Phillips, 11-8. The Green Archers had more good fortune after Mark Nonoy sank a corner trifecta to push the lead to 14-8. 

The UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year was further rewarded with a bonus free throw when Joem Sabandal earned an unsportsmanlike foul by stepping within Nonoy’s landing space, 15-8. Keeping up their aggression by relentlessly attacking the paint, the DLSU put AdU in the penalty and ended the frame with an 18-13 advantage by making shots at the charity stripe. 

The Green and White continued their aggressive play entering the second frame with M. Phillips converting an and-one play to push their lead to eight, 21-13. On the other end, AdU guard Jed Colonia drew DLSU’s third team foul early in the frame by getting an and-one basket of his own, 21-16. The Green Archers’ aggression on defense rewarded them with points on fastbreaks, but it proved to be a double-edged sword as DLSU was put in the penalty with 5:26 remaining. Adamson willed themselves back after cutting the deficit to one with Matty Erolon sinking his second trey of the game, 26-25. 

After the second period’s TV timeout, team captain Ben Phillips immediately brought energy to his side by scoring down low, 28-25. Narrowly holding onto their lead, the Green Archers fought tooth and nail to maintain their advantage, but the Soaring Falcons fought back and finished the first half with a 7-0 run, taking the lead for the first time in the game thanks to Ced Manzano converting on back-to-back baskets in the post, 33-32. 

Quiambao sparks the momentum

After a sloppy ending in the first half, the DLSU Green Archers opened up the third quarter with rebuilt offensive plays. The catalyst behind it all was Quiambao, who scored a two-hand slam off a drop pass from M. Phillips at the 6:30 mark. This successfully gassed up La Salle’s momentum as they took the lead, 39-38. During the last five minutes of the quarter, the Green Archers displayed their full-court defensive prowess as Nelle scored off a nifty steal by Quiambao, 43-38. 

The Falcons were nailed down at only 38 points for the majority of the third quarter as the Green Archers dominated both ends of the floor with consistent offensive and defensive plays. La Salle capitalized on this built momentum as they went on a 23-0 run. This was highlighted by another two-handed dunk by M. Phillips, leaving Adamson scoreless since the nine-minute mark of the third quarter. Spearheaded by Quiambao, La Salle ended the third quarter with a comfortable 17-point lead, 61-44. The notable performance by the forward saw him assist 25 of the DLSU 29 points in the third quarter.

Coming off the break with extreme momentum on their side, the Taft-based team maintained offensive tempo as Josh David scored off a rebound, 63-44. Echoing his teammates’ performance was Nwankwo with a slam dunk in the fourth quarter, which kept the team on a snug 21-point lead with only five minutes left in the match, 71-50. However, Adamson rallied with an 11-0 run in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. With only a minute left in the game, Head Coach Topex Robinson was warned for continuous complaining, which earned Adamson a technical free throw. The Green Archers recovered from this setback and closed out the game with a 13-point lead, 71-58. 

As the Green Archers are set to face off against the top contenders of the season, the NU Bulldogs and UP Fighting Maroons, this win sparked Quiambao’s confidence entering the highly anticipated games; he attributes his electric performance to Robinson’s system allowing them to adjust after a sloppy first half, “Nag-stick lang ako sa gustong ipagawa ni Coach. Nung first half naglaro kami ng complacent basketball, and good thing noong second half nakapag-adjust kami”. 

(I stuck to what Coach wanted us to do. During the first half we played complacent basketball, and the good thing was during the second half, we adjusted.) 

With high hopes of securing a three-game winning streak in the first round, the DLSU Green Archers face the NU Bulldogs on Sunday, October 15, at 2 pm, at the same venue. 

The Scores:

DLSU 71 – Quiambao 17, M. Phillips 14, Nelle 12, Manuel 6, Policarpio 6, Nonoy 4, Cortez 3, Nwankwo 3, David 2, Escandor 2, B. Phillips 2, Abadam 0, Gollena 0, 

Macalalag 0

AdU 58 – Calisay 12, Erolon 10, Manzano 8, Sabandal 7, Ojarikre 5, Magbuhos 3, Montebon 3, Ramos 3, Yerro 3, Hanapi 1, Anabo 0, Barcelona 0, Canete 0

Quarter Scores: 18-13, 32-33, 61-44, 71-58

Tana Melgar

By Tana Melgar

Jaden Alberto

By Jaden Alberto

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