PINOYLIGA: Green Archers’ fiery third quarter run seals 86-71 semifinals win over OLFU Phoenix

The DLSU Green Archers showed off their aggression in their takedown of the OLFU Phoenix, 86-71, in the semifinals of the Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup, securing a Finals berth earlier today, June 8, at the Enderun Colleges. 

Jacob Cortez led the team to victory on both sides of the court, tallying 17 points, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks. Luis Pablo and Vhoris Marasigan, who backed him up, added 15 and 13 markers, respectively. 

OLFU’s Mamadou Toure tried his best to topple the Green Archers, putting up 15 points and seven rebounds of his own. Ace Tiamzon and Charles Tecson followed suit with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.

Late half resurgence

With a heavy day ahead of them, the DLSU Green Archers fielded their new recruits to test their ability to take on the mantle. J. Cortez and Pablo stepped up early on to get the Green-and-White going, scoring from the perimeter and inside to grab the lead three minutes in, 5-0. However, Toure from the opposing side got to work inside to level the scoreline, 5-all. 

Raven Cortez subbed in to counter OLFU’s big man, immediately making his presence known, as he scored inside and drew fouls to give La Salle their lead back with 4:47 left in the opening quarter, 9-5. With R. Cortez gaining attention from the defense, Kean Baclaan and EJ Gollena found room to get inside for close rangers, 15-7. However, Tecson found his shooting range in the last minute of the first quarter, draining two outside shots to cut the lead to three before the timer expired, 16-13.

At the start of the second quarter, Jake Gaspay, Gollena, and Pablo all squeezed into the paint to go on a 6-0 run, extending the Green Archers’ lead to seven just two minutes in, 22-15. However, OLFU found gaps in the Lasallian defense and drew fouls to tie the game again, 22-all. The Green-and-White showed no despair and maintained their aggression inside, pivoting on Baclaan and Marasigan’s close-range attempts and forcing OLFU to bench Toure as Bright Nwankwo drew his third foul with five minutes left, 29-26.  

But, the La Salle coaching staff remained unsatisfied, calling a timeout with three minutes to go. A reinvigorated DLSU squad took to the court with tighter defense to keep their opposition scoreless for the remainder of the half. The Taft-based team continued to be aggressive and work inside the paint to grab easy baskets with Toure on the sidelines, seeing the half end with a 10-point gap, 41-31.

Heating up

A scorching shootout between OLFU’s Andrei Romero and DLSU’s J. Cortez started off the second half, with Romero drawing first blood with two long-range bombs, while the latter responded with a three of his own plus two mid-range buckets, foreshadowing the monster quarter he would eventually have. The next few minutes saw parity between the two teams, trading buckets mainly through half-court plays and timely passing. However, the remaining half of the third quarter would immediately spiral into a La Salle offensive masterclass.

The game suddenly turned into a two-man show as J. Cortez and Pablo dominated the court, starting with two consecutive fastbreak buckets from Pablo. This gave way to J. Cortez, who followed it up by draining another three-pointer, capping it off by swiping the ball for two steals, and assisting Pablo twice, the second of which being converted to an and-one.

Despite the comfortable 66-52 lead, DLSU kept their foot on the pedal, looking to land the finishing blow on their opponents. Baclaan added to the scoreboard with a tough double-clutch layup. With around 90 seconds left on the clock, La Salle found their knockout punch, as Marasigan exploded for a personal 7-0 run, wrapping up a staggering 34-point third quarter by DLSU, 75-52.

The fourth quarter offered a glimmer of hope for OLFU, as the unbeaten DLSU finally started to slow down, scoring only four points in the first half of the quarter. Toure took advantage of La Salle’s lazy defense, imposing his presence on the painted area, scoring three straight buckets to cut the lead to 12, 79-67. The spirited comeback effort by OLFU was not enough, however, as La Salle was able to respond calmly and close the game out in fashion, going on another 7-0 run courtesy of Nwankwo’s putback and Gollena’s third three-pointer of the game, eventually bagging the victory, 86-71.

With this win, the DLSU Green Archers maintains their unbeaten streak and claimed their spot in the Finals, where they will face the NU Bulldogs.

The Scores:

DLSU 86 – J. Cortez 17, Pablo 15, Marasigan 13, Gollena 11, Baclaan 10, R. Cortez 8, Nwankwo 5, Alian 4, Gaspay 3, Romero 0, Zamora 0, Banwait 0, Perez 0

OLFU 71 – Toure 15, Tiamzon 12, Tecson 10, Templonuevo 8, Romero 8, Gomez 5, Labayen 4, Davis 4, Loyola 2, Dela Cruz 2, Gotera 1

Quarter Scores: 16-13, 41-31, 75-52, 86-71

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

Julio Amir Tampis

By Julio Amir Tampis

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