UAAP: Green Archers end Round One at 4-3 after thrilling comeback over UE

The DLSU Green Archers snagged a second-half comeback from being down double-digits in the first half to emerge victorious over the UE Red Warriors, 83-75, and end the first round of Season 86 on a high note, earlier tonight, October 21, at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Second-year center Raven Cortez was the spark that lit the Green Archers’ final-round rally with a statline of 18 points, five  rebounds, and three blocks. He posted those numbers with great efficiency, making five of eight field goals and eight out of ten from the charity stripe, while turning the ball over zero times. Kevin Quiambao was also instrumental in the win with a double-double of 17 points and 12 assists, while Evan Nelle marked his return by adding 14 of his own.

Point guard Rey Remogat once again led the Red Warriors, spearheading his side with 13 points and 13 assists, while Abdul Sawat, Precious Momowei, and Ethan Galang chipped in a well-rounded double-digit effort with 13, 12, and 10 points, respectively.

Finding their footing

The game between the DLSU Green Archers and UE Red Warriors started with a tight matchup as the two sides traded baskets right off the bat, 5-4. For the Green Archers, it was Quiambao who sparked the plug as he grabbed La Salle’s first nine points, which included the team’s only three-pointer in the first half, 11-9. However, UE seemed to have the bright touch in the team effort as Sawat’s floater capped off their harmonic performance and extended their lead to six, 15-9.

Green Archers Head Coach Topex Robinson decided to make some changes to keep his team in the game, which proved to be very beneficial. Most notably, the return of Nelle was instrumental in the Green Archers’ first half display. He orchestrated the Lasallian offense which included a Mark Nonoy fastbreak layup, 17-13. This enabled a confidence boost from the changes, with the Taft-based squad getting to the paint to draw fouls. Eventually with JC Macalalag’s second trip to the free throw line, the score was finally tied at 17-all. But a late Ryzel Gilbuena two-pointer left the Green Archers trailing by two at the end of the first quarter, 19-17.

The second quarter mirrored the first as the two sides traded baskets early on with Michael Phillips energizing the crowd with back to back jams, 23-21. But Remogat subverted the story when he hit a three-pointer to extend the Red Warriors’ lead to six, 29-23. The Green and White looked to find a way back when they turned their focus inside as Earl Abadam and CJ Austria chipped  in layups of their own to keep DLSU within striking distance, 31-27.

As the team from Taft looked to find a way back, Momowei hammered his way through the Lasallian interior defense as he scored an and-one basket before making his bonus free throw. Nelle responded with an and-one own and bonus free throw of his own. However, the Red Warriors maintained their hot streak from the outside as Remogat made his third three-point shot of the half to extend his team’s lead to 11 and complete his double-double, 46-35. Nonoy stopped the bleeding for the Green Archers but was called for a technical foul. The Red Warriors missed the technical free throw but were able to stretch their lead back to 11 at the halftime mark with a late Momowei dunk, 48-37.

Heating up

After a lackluster first half, Nelle immediately cut the deficit with five straight points for the Green Archers to start the third period. The Red Warriors responded with two quick buckets to maintain their double-digit advantage, but the Taft-based squad went on a fiery 7-0 run, led by Quiambao’s playmaking. However, the story of the third quarter was jotted with Cortez’s inside play as he drew numerous fouls and found key positions in the paint. La Salle finally took their first lead of the game after two charities from Cortez with less than three minutes in the quarter. However, UE held on in the final moments to take a 63-62 lead heading into the final period.

The Green and White built on their momentum by opening the fourth quarter with an 8-0 blitz that was capped off by a crafty reverse layup from Gollena, taking a firm grasp on the lead, 70-63. Policarpio was also influential in the run, drawing fouls and hitting a timely shot from deep. The Red Warriors continued to fight to stay in the game, getting within five, but they were unable to contain the Green Archers’ offense that was clicking on all cylinders. The two-man game between bigs Cortez and Quiambao continued to work in the paint, while Nelle masterfully ran the fastbreak as the quarter progressed, leading to a comfortable 83-75 victory.

Sharing his thoughts on the game,  Robinson commended his team’s response and effort in the third quarter after a forgettable first half. He had nothing but praise for the team’s second half showing, which ultimately won them the game,  “It didn’t look well at the start of the ball game, but everyone just stood [up] to the challenge and everyone contributed at the start of the third quarter.” 

Meanwhile, Cortez collected the player of the game award after his 13-minute brilliant performance. He attributed his breakout game to his patience as he awaited for his number to be called so that he could seize his chance, “Siyempre coming into the game, always ready lang ako and always focused lang ako.”

The Green Archers now await the results of the remaining games before the schedule of the second round of the UAAP Season 86 campaign is officially released.

The Scores:

DLSU 83 – Cortez 18, Quiambao 17, Nelle 14, Austria 7, Policarpio 7, Nonoy 6, Gollena 5, M Phillips 4, Macalalag 3, Abadam 2, David 0, Nwankwo 0, B Phillips 0, Manuel 0, Escandor 0

UE 75 – Remogat 13, Sawat 13, Momowei 12, Galang 10, Cruz-Domont 9, Gilbuena 7, Tulabut 6, Fikes 3, Alcantara 2, Langit 0, Lingolingo 0

Quarter Scores: 17-19, 37-48, 62-63, 83-75

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

Aren Reyes

By Aren Reyes

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