The DLSU Green Archers extended their winning streak to six in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament after trumping the UE Red Warriors, 86-76, earlier tonight, November 12, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Season MVP race front-runner Kevin Quiambao steered the Green Archers to yet another victory with his second triple-double of the season, tallying 17 points, 19 rebounds, and 12 assists. Mark Nonoy matched his teammate’s performance with 25 points, knocking down seven triples in the game. Raven Cortez also made his presence felt, contributing 11 points for the Green and White.
In the trying effort, Rey Remogat posted a double-double for the Red Warriors with 22 big points and 12 assists. Precious Momowei complemented this with a double-double of his own, contributing 21 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Abdul Sawat chipped in 18 points for his team.
Cruising smooth and easy
With great confidence on offense and grit on defense, the Green Archers kicked off the game on a high note. Cortez led the white shirts in the scoring department within the first few minutes, hitting a layup and a floater in the paint, while Escandor added a three-pointer to give DLSU the early lead, 7-0. Proving their tight defense effective, the Green Archers left the Red Warriors scoreless in the first three minutes of the game, up until Jack Cruz-Dumont knocked down a three-pointer to finally put UE on the scoreboard, 9-3.
As the team was off to a hot start, DLSU Head Coach Topex Robinson brought in his bench players JC Macalalag, Bright Nwankwo, Earl Abadam, and Joshua David out to the court, leaving only Quiambao as the only starter on the floor to give the other starters a short break. The red shirts wasted no time and took this opportunity to catch up with two minutes left in the quarter. Making two free throws and a reverse layup, Sawat tied the game 15-all to end the opening frame.
The Red Warriors pulled off an early turnaround in the second period as Momowei charged a contested two-pointer against Nwankwo in the paint, 17-15, giving UE their first lead of the game. They went on to extend their lead to 10, 25-15, thanks to Wello Lingolingo and Remogat also nailing buckets from beyond the arc. Enough was enough for the Taft-based squad at that point as they retaliated with back-to-back triples, courtesy of Jonnel Policarpio and Evan Nelle, trimming the lead to just four points, 25-21.
Rattling the defense of UE allowed CJ Austria to knock down a two from a fast break. Though the Red Warriors gained possession, a steal and a pass to Nonoy for an open layup gave the lead back to DLSU, 27-25. The Lasallian guard also nailed two more triples toward the end of the second quarter, 42-31. The first half ended with Cortez completing an and-one play, giving DLSU a lead of 49-38 and keeping the momentum on their side.
Anchoring the defense
At the start of the second half, the Red Warriors continued to challenge the Green Archers by pushing in Allen Maglupay and Momowei through the DLSU’s interior and transition defense to cut the lead to just two, 49-47. Coach Robinson then opted to go for a smaller lineup, subbing in Austria and David to maximize the Lasallian full-court press. The Green Archers successfully limited UE’s offensive outburst with a small ball and extended their advantage to five, drawing fouls to get to the free-throw line, 64-59. However, a late lapse from the Green and White cut their lead to just one heading to the final frame, 64-63.
DLSU built a solid grouping and looked laser-focused in the fourth quarter. The Green Archers stayed steady on the defense and switched to their man-to-man assignments when the press was broken through the halfway line, preventing the Red Warriors from scoring any baskets in the first five and a half minutes. The Taft defense allowed Nonoy to showcase his sharpshooting skills as he hit a three to fuel La Salle’s 13-0 run, 77-63. UE attempted to spark a comeback as Remogat hit back-to-back triples, 77-70. However, Quiambao rose to the occasion for DLSU to calm the nerves of the Lasallian faithful as he maximized his range, stepping back and pulling up from deep, 83-72. Nonoy then made sure to ice the game with his seventh three-pointer before Remogat scored the final points for the UE Red Warriors, 86-76.
After the game, Robinson commended his players for their brilliant performance against UE. He cited his team’s positive attitude and discipline in playing the game as he said, “Again, I am just so grateful and blessed to be here again, getting this win against UE, and I commend the guys that stepped up in this game. The guys were just really having fun and just trying to really be disciplined in what we’re trying to achieve as a team.”
Bagging another Player of the Game award, Quiambao also expressed his delight with his performance, which boosts his bid for the UAAP Season 86 MVP award. However, he reiterated that his goal for this season is not to be hailed as the MVP but rather to be a part of the best team among all collegiate opponents, saying, “For me, sobrang thankful and blessed na nakakuha na naman ng triple-double, pero lagi ko ngang sinasabi na ‘yung goal namin is to win the championship and to compete at the highest level.”
(For me, I feel thankful and blessed that I got another triple-double, but as I always say, our goal is to win the championship and to compete at the highest level.)
The Green Archers will look to strengthen their twice-to-beat chances as they take on the already-eliminated FEU Tamaraws this Wednesday, November 15, at 4 pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 86 – Nonoy 25, Quiambao 17, Cortez 11, Policarpio 9, Nelle 7, Escandor 6, Austria 6, Abadam 3, Nwankwo 2, David 0, B. Phillips 0, M. Phillips 0, Macalalag 0, Manuel 0
UE 76 – Remogat 22, Momowei 21, Sawat 18, Lingolingo 6, Maglupay 4, Cruz-Dumont 3, Tulabut 2, Galang 0
Quarter Scores: 15-15, 49-38, 64-63, 86-76