UAAP: Green Archers’ balanced scoring effort versus AdU leads to fourth straight win

The DLSU Green Archers continued their dominance in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament as they won their fifth straight game, outclassing the fifth-ranked AdU Soaring Falcons, 69-57, to book their spot in the Final Four earlier tonight, November 8, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Big man Kevin Quiambao turned in another all-around Player of the Game performance, notching a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, along with a steal and a block. Echoing their teammates’ efforts were four Green Archers who contributed eight points each, namely, Michael Philipps, Joshua David, JC Macalalag, and Earl Abadam.

Despite the loss, Earl Hanapi had an efficient 16-point outing on 60 percent shooting with four three-pointers, while Matthew Montebon chipped in 10 points for Adamson.

Tale of two quarters 

Both teams suffered multiple missed field goals to start the first quarter, neither of them being able to capitalize on their shot attempts. After two minutes of game time, it was La Salle who struck first as CJ Austria scored on a backdoor cut to give La Salle their first points, 2-0. Despite a slow start, Green Archers picked up their pace as they went on a 6-0 run which was punctuated by a strong post-move bucket by Quiambao. Adamson responded with their own 5-0 run courtesy of Ahmad Hanapi and Cedric Manzano’s quick jumpers from both long-range and mid-range shots to even the score at 8-all toward the halfway point of the opening quarter.

Manzano and Hanapi both continued to star in AdU’s offense, with Manzano adding four more points to his ledger with two layups as Hanapi drained his second three-pointer of the quarter—giving ADU a 16-12 lead with 2:34 left on the clock. In the quarter’s closing seconds, M. Philipps suddenly caught on fire, hitting two long-range bombs to answer Hanapi and give La Salle a two-point advantage heading into the second quarter, 20-18.

The second quarter started much faster for Adamson, as a Mudiaga Ojarikre monster block led to an easy fastbreak layup for Jose Sabandal at 9:46. The Manuel-David tandem exploded, powering a 9-2 run for DLSU with two big three-pointers, prompting Adamson to call their first timeout of the game. 

Off the timeout, veteran point guard further increased DLSU’s lead to seven after scoring a tough scoop layup over Adamson’s big men, 36-29. Macalalag continued his solid play for La Salle, first converting an and-one opportunity, then hitting a jumper from downtown to give La Salle a double-digit lead, 42-32, and forcing another timeout for Adamson. The quarter ended with Eli Ramos hitting both free throws off of a David unsportsmanlike foul, trimming La Salle’s lead back to single digits heading into the second half, 43-34.

Rolling with the punches

The Soaring Falcons entered the third quarter of play as hard-nosed as ever, complimenting their tight defense in the paint with back-to-back threes from Calisay and Hanapi to narrow down La Salle’s advantage. The Green and White managed to hold on to their advantage thanks to the contributions of their bench players—namely Abadam and EJ Gollena—whose baskets and defensive effort allowed their side to stay afloat, 49-43. Quiambao slowly shook off his slow start to score five points in the third, but it was AdU that held momentum at the end of the period, cutting the La Salle lead to just four behind their lead duo of Hanapi and Sabandal, 54-50.

Entering the final frame of play on top of a two-possession ball game, the Green Archers managed to grind out some stops to restore their lead to nine, 62-53, despite their misfiring offense. AdU called for a timeout to regroup with 5:37 to play but were unable to muster up another run, experiencing firsthand what has become a common sight in UAAP Season 86—a hard-fought ball game cold-heartedly closed out by the hands of Quiambao. The previous season’s Rookie of the Year proved to be too much, getting to the foul line twice in the final 30 seconds to chip in three clutch points and secure the victory, 69-57.

Having secured a Final Four appearance in his debut season with the Green and White, DLSU Head Coach Topex Robinson was characteristically quick to deflect the praise, “We’re just so grateful and blessed to be in this situation right now. These guys just never give up.” 

He further praised their work ethic, sharing that his squad kept grinding following huge back-to-back wins against the current top two seeds in their undefeated Round Two stint, “Coming off that game against UP, [we] never took a break.”

With still much to play as they hunt down a twice-to-beat advantage, Robinson points to La Salle’s early season growing pains as the primary key behind their success, “We know the struggles we’ve been through. We just kept our circle solid…That’s the only time we’re gonna learn and grow.”

With the Green Archers seemingly peaking at the right time of the season, the Green and White looks to extend their win streak to five as they return to the same venue at 4 pm on Sunday, November 15, to face the UE Red Warriors.

The Scores:

DLSU 69 – Quiambao 11, M. Philipps 8, David 8, Macalalag 8, Abadam 8, Nelle 7, Nonoy 5, Nwankwo 4, Austria 4, Escandor 2, Gollena 2, Manuel 2, B. Philipps 0

AdU 57 – Hanapi 16, Montebon 11, Sabandal 10, Calisay 7, Manzano 4, Yerro 3, Colonia 2, Okarikre 2, Ramos 2, Magbuhos 0, Anabo 0, Canete 0, Barrasi 0, Erolon 0, Barcelona 0
Set Scores: 20-18, 43-34, 54-50, 69-57

Julio Amir Tampis

By Julio Amir Tampis

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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