UAAP: Green Archers bow down to Bulldogs in 80-77 overtime loss

After ousting the NU Bulldogs’ Final Four hopes last season, the DLSU Green Archers fell to NU’s revenge in overtime, 80-77, during their first run-in in UAAP Season 86 earlier today, October 15, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Fighting hard for the Green and White, Kevin Quiambao led the Green Archers posting 25 points. Supporting the offense was Mark Nonoy who contributed 10 markers for the team.

In a winning effort, four players tallied double digits for NU with the eventual player of the game Jake Figueroa chipping in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jolo Manansala delivered 13 points, while Patrick Yu worked out 12 points, five of which were deposited during overtime. Big man Omar John also tallied 10 markers for the Bulldogs.

A see-saw offensive exchange 

Neither the Green Archers nor the Bulldogs could get a tight grip on the lead in the whole duration of the first quarter as both teams persistently equalized each other’s offense. Bright Nwankwo kickstarted the game for La Salle with a follow-up on Joaqui Manuel’s missed jumper, 2-0. The game just started to heat up then, the Green Archers displaying patience and maximizing the shot clock before Manuel knocked down a three-pointer to extend their lead, 7-2.

Immediately on the next sequence, Archer turned Bulldog Donn Lim also landed a triple, inching his new side closer to DLSU, 7-5. A ringless three-pointer from NU’s Yu turned the table for the white shirts as they took over the lead, 14-13. The first frame ended with the Bulldogs having a loose lead of just three, 19-16.

The game saw more action in the second quarter with the Bulldogs still leading the scoring exchanges. Despite the green shirts’ close man-to-man defense, Manansala still made things work as he found the basket from underneath the rim, 25-20, in favor of NU ahead by five. Meanwhile, Nonoy converted a near-turnover from Jonnel Policarpio into a triple. 

Fresh-from-the-bench Earl Abadam stepped into the spotlight with an uncontested three, 29-25, the Bulldogs still with the advantage. With the white shirts just up by a few, Nwankwo’s rejection on opposing import John got the La Salle crowd on their feet. In the middle of an intense battle, Yu attempted another mid-range jumper but found himself on the ground holding onto his right ankle, causing concern to both teams. The first half was capped at 37-all after Enriquez nailed the last two free throws of the quarter.

In just the first half, the Green Archers managed to land seven threes, while NU maximized twos to stay afloat.

Trials to tie up loose ends

With no leads to build, both teams entered the third quarter with uncertainty. After a series of mishandling, Figueroa spurred the Bulldogs by two, followed by Kean Baclaan’s shot inside the arc, handing NU the four-point lead at 41-37. In response to this, DLSU’s consistent point-maker Quiambao exhibited his usual back-to-back plays to put the game in  La Salle’s favor, 50-47. 

NU struggled from La Salle’s side of the court until Manansala fired the equalizer beyond the three-point line, displaying a 50-all score with just three minutes left in the quarter. Although the scoreboard was motionless after a few exchanges of plays, the crowd was affixed in the intense game between the Green Archers’ unyielding defense and the Bulldogs’ dominating intent. With only 12 seconds remaining, Policarpio brought the lead back to Taft, 52-50, through a sequence of jumpers. However, Omar of NU retaliated quickly, closing the third quarter with yet again a level playing field, 52-all.

Entering the last quarter with the lead for grabs, John seized the chance with a lay-up, which was immediately reclaimed by Austria’s three-pointer, 55-54. Standing too close, Escandor created the starting point for DLSU’s lead at the five-minute mark to stretch the lead, 57-60, but this was hardly maintained by Quiambao’s dropped dimes, unsuccessful free throws by Nelle, and the Phillips brothers’ give-and-take—bringing the scores to 67-64. The Lasallian crowd was celebrating, but the match was far from over for the Bulldogs because of Figueroa’s deciding three-point shot. With Michael Phillips missing both crucial free throw attempts, the intense match extended to overtime with a 67-all slate.

Losing tempo

The game was tied and emotions were high, but Yu wasted no time to continue NU’s fiery momentum in overtime from the late fourth-quarter tie. The veteran Bulldog showed maximum composure, unbothered by M. Phillips’ presence as he knocked down a crucial three. Still with the hot hand, Yu drove to the rim unopposed for an easy two, 74-69, much to the delight of the roaring NU crowd. 

With continuous missed attempts from the green shirts, the Bulldogs banked on their defensive rebounds, not allowing La Salle any second chance points. With 44.5 seconds remaining, La Salle’s main gunner Quimbao fired a rare airball, coming off the bench. Showing a sign of hope for the Green Archers, Evan Nelle swiftly nailed a basket from beyond the arc leaving the game clock with just 1.3 seconds left, 79-77. Even then, it was done and dusted for the Bulldogs as Baclaan chipped in the final free throw to secure the win for the Bulldogs, 80-77.

When asked about the final possession and the missed crucial free throws by M. Phillips, Head Coach Topex Robinson opted to look at it in the bigger picture. “You don’t look at those last possessions. It’s not those missed free throws by Mike, but we lost by 14 rebounds. They dominated us in the paint,” Robinson explained, highlighting the importance of defense in the game.

Hoping to redeem this loss, the DLSU Green Archers will face up against the undefeated UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday, October 18, at 6 pm, at the same venue. 

The Scores:

NU 80 – Figueroa 15, Manansala 13, Yu 12, John 10, Baclaan 7, Malonzo 7, Enriquez 7, Lim 5, Palacielo 4

DLSU 77 – Quiambao 25, Nonoy 10, Nelle 9, M. Phillips 7, Abadam 6, B. Phillips 5, Escandor 5, Manuel 3, Austria 3, Policarpio 2, Nwankwo 2
Quarter Scores: 16-19, 37-37, 52-52, 67-67, 80-77

Luis Agus

By Luis Agus

Angel Migue

By Angel Migue

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