Archers stave off Bulldogs, forge semi-final clash with Tamaraws

Published on September 13th, 2014 | by DLSU Sports

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In a match that will decide their path into the playoffs of UAAP Season 77, the DLSU Green Archers showcased flamboyant basketball in the second half to defeat the NU Bulldogs, 68-56, on a rare Saturday evening match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Vosotros led the scoring for La Salle with 15 points. Amply contributing to the offensive load are big men Arnold van Opstal and Norbert Torres with 14 and 13 correspondingly. Usually scoring heavily, Jeron Teng only produced nine points today after being the target of NU’s stiff interior defense.

The game was starting to become a nail-biter heading into the second half. As anticipated by many, neither team controlled the pace of the action. At the opening moments of the third, Jason Perkins and Jeth Rosario lit up the floor for their teams–hinting what could be a close finish. After van Opstal split his free throws and Jeron Teng made a couple of shots from the foul line, multiple unanswered field goals from La Salle altered the course of the game. Vosotros, Perkins, and Sargent all fired to provide a cushioned lead for La Salle. Vosotros finally broke out from a shooting slump he was believed to be in to end the third-quarter scoring for La Salle with a three-pointer. That basket extended the Archers’ lead to ten, 49-39. Alolino would make his next two field goals to reduce the gap back to single-digits going into the fourth quarter.

The final quarter proved to be the pivotal quarter for DLSU. With 6:01 minutes left in the final quarter, nine unanswered points from La Salle which was started by a Montalbo three pushed the lead to 17. At that point, only the final score was left to be determined as La Salle continued to hold on to the lead by preventing NU from converting field goals with aggressive defense even if they were at the penalty.

Coach Juno Sauler cites that his team sought to match the deliberate, low-tempo NU brand of basketball. Through it, getting the ball inside to the big men provided chances to score high-percentage shots and at the same opening spaces for shooters in the perimeter.

The game began well for the Green Archers who finished the first period on top by three. NU built a five-point advantage in the middle of the second quarter thanks to the suffocating defense they employed which resulted in only conceding four points. Not willing to let the Bulldogs take charge, the champions asserted themselves and retook a slim lead by launching a 7-0 rally of their own that was capped off by a Teng troika. Rosario levelled the score before the teams entered the halftime break.

The playoff for second seed, also known as the first game of what appears to be a best-of-three series between DLSU and FEU will be on Sunday, September 21, 3:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Tamaraws, who lost to Ateneo in overtime earlier, share the same 10-4 win-loss record with the Archers. Although FEU won both games against La Salle this season, a playoff is required to break the tie in second place as per UAAP rules.

“[We] just have to match the intensity of FEU,” told Sauler who acknowledges the Tamaraws’ brilliance in playing high-tempo basketball. He attributed the capacity of FEU to profit in transition as the main factor in their losses against the Tamaraws in the elimination round. Sauler also voiced the need to restrict their scorers, mainly Mike Tolomia and Mac Belo, from finding and creating opportunities.

NOTES: FEU is the only team to have not lost against La Salle in UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball. Thomas Torres, suited in uniform and stayed the entirety of the game on the bench, rejoined training this week and may see action against FEU, the only opponent that he was available for a full game this season, if he will be deemed fit in time for Sunday. After being held scoreless in the game against UE, Jason Perkins notched eight points and also providing extra muscle in the paint with seven rebounds in today’s game. The Archers also shot 51% from the field and only limited NU to 37 percent. Most strikingly, DLSU played outstanding defense after only giving away a single uncontested attempt.

Game photos can be viewed by clicking the link below:

DLSU vs. NU Round 2 photos

Box scores:

DLSU (68) – Vosotros 15, van Opstal 14, Torres 13, Teng 9, Perkins 8, Montalbo 5, Sargent 4, Rivero 0, Bolick 0, Mustre 0, Tratter 0.

NU(56) – Alolino 18, Rosario 14, Javelona 8, Aroga 8, Khobuntin 4, Betayene 4, Diputado 0, Celda 0, Neypes 0, Perez 0.

Quarter scores: 20-17, 31-31, 49-43, 68-56

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