FilOil: Green Archers cut through the Tamaraws’ horns in a thrilling 81-76 beatdown

Fresh from stomping on the ADMU Blue Eagles last Sunday, the DLSU Green Archers earned another victory in the FilOil EcoOil 17th Preseason Cup Elimination Round after shooting their arrows through the FEU Tamaraws, 81-76, yesterday, June 3, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Raven Cortez led the Green-and-White, being crowned as the Player of the Game after serving 13 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. Complementing his performance was Kevin Quiambao, who tallied 12 markers, nine rebounds, and nine assists.  

From the other side of the court, Francis Pre scored the highest among the Tamaraws, earning 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Luke Felipe contributed to the team’s performance with 15 points and six rebounds of his own.

Sluggish opening 

The opening quarter of the game was kickstarted by a powerful three by Quiambao. It was not long before Matthew Rubico quickly followed through, 5-4. An EJ Gollena layup further stamped DLSU’s dominance, followed by a Vhoris Marasigan free point at the stripe. The FEU Tamaraws committed traveling violations here and there, which worked to their disadvantage. 

Despite the good start for DLSU, the first quarter was rather slow, as both teams seemingly struggled to shoot hoops, especially for the Tamaraws. EJ Abadam showcased his prowess once again by earning markers for his team, and it was a Jonnel Policarpio charity point that capped off La Salle’s four-point lead for the quarter, 17-13. 

Matching the pace

Still dragging on the seemingly lengthy second frame, the Tamaraws committed the same violations. La Salle went with the pace of the game, keeping things pretty leisurely on the side of the Green Archers. CJ Austria showcased a flawless floating shot, extending the advantage to six, 19-13. Rubico earned some charity numbers for the Green-and-White, furthering the gap between the two teams. 

Fresh off the bench, Jcee Macalalag was seen shooting his shots from beyond the arc for the Green Archers. Quiambao followed through, upping the scoreboards to 27-18. Macalalag was definitely feeling the game, earning another two digits for his team. In this period, Rubico was also found clenching his fists on the floor as a player from the opponent elbowed his sides. Due to this unexpected scene, the FEU Tamaraws caught up with the Green Archers, with the first half of the game surprisingly brought to a tie, 29-all. 

Dominant momentum 

The third quarter opened in a blur, as Policarpio grabbed the first points for the Green Archers, 32-31, in favor of FEU, recovering from the lost points last quarter. As La Salle exchanged multiple offensive plays with the Tamaraws, Quiambao successfully bagged the game’s favor as he scored a double to highlight their offense,  33-32. La Salle maintained the lead as Lian Ramiro successfully evaded the opposing team’s defense, finally putting them at a one-point lead, 36-35. 

The Green-and-White took advantage of FEU’s offensive fouls through the free throws, following Cortez and Quiambao recovering a total of eight points toward La Salle’s end and heightening the team’s momentum, 54-45. In the unyielding final minutes of the game, free throws affirmed the Green-and-White’s dominance as FEU continued to rake in penalties. The match’s pace quickened as Cortez regained Quiambao’s missed trey in a matter of seconds, landing the Green Archers on a 10-point lead, 57-47.

Seizing initiative

Upon the beginning of the final period, the Green Archers held an 11-point cushion. However, they lost possession of the ball as FEU managed to take control of the game’s pace after scoring continuous baskets. In the attempt to snatch back the momentum before the Tamaraws could capitalize on their offense, Marasigan landed a crucial shot to balloon the lead back to nine, 68-59. 

With under two minutes left to play, Quiambao hit a crucial floater, followed by a solid block by Cortez at the 1:42 mark that aided in the team’s defensive aspect, 75-71. And, with under a minute and a half to play, Quiambao made a swift behind-the-back pass to Cortez, which he converted to a layup, 77-71. The Tamaraws could not contain the scoring rampage of La Salle at the end of the match’s final moments as Austria managed to squeeze in one more basket before the buzzer sounded, ending the match in favor of the Green-and-White, 81-76.

After stirring remarkable back-to-back victories, Head Coach Topex Robinson commended the FEU Tamaraws as he claimed that they gave them a “solid fight, as always.” Still, he said that the preseason games are learning opportunities, adding, “We are still a young team, and we lost a lot of veterans last season.” 

Cortez, hailed as the Player of the Game, expressed that he was willing to play any role needed to certify La Salle’s victory. “Start pa lang naman ng season, parang sinasabi na ni coach kung ano talaga mga roles namin, kung saan kami may strength. I just want to be on the offensive side, and gawin ko kailangan ko gawin.” 

(Since the start of the season, coach has been telling us what our roles are and where we have the most strength. I want to be on the offensive side and do what I need to do.) 

Adding another victory to the shelf, the DLSU Green Archers continue to hone their craft as they prepare for another match against the NU Bulldogs on Thursday, June 6, at 5 pm at the same venue. 

The Scores:

DLSU 81 Cortez 13, Quiambao 12, Policarpio 9, Agunanne 8, Ramiro 8, Rubico 8, Austria 6, Macalalag 5, Abadam 5, Marasigan 5, Gollena 2, Dungo 0

FEU  76 Pre 21, Felipe 15, Bautista 13, Pasaol 9, Konateh 6, Daa 5, Bagunu 4, Alforque 3, Godinez 0, Buenaventura 0, Ona 0

Quarter Scores 17-13, 29-29, 60-49, 81-76

Jamie Alberto

By Jamie Alberto

Yana Rivera

By Yana Rivera

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