DLSU Green Archers narrowly escape UP Fighting Maroons
Published on May 8th, 2015 | by Deion Bandril
The DLSU Green Archers went head-to-head with the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons. The matchup happened last May 8 at the FilOil Flying V Arena. Prince Rivero proved to be the key factor in contributing towards the win. He finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds; while Andrei Caracut added 15 points to the win.
First quarter started quickly for the UP Maroons. They were quick on defense that forced DLSU to turn the ball over a lot. Both teams exchanged baskets throughout the quarter.
Kib Montalbo suffered a lower back injury as he fell down awkwardly while attempting to block the ball on the fastbreak. He left the game after only playing for seven minutes. The first quarter ended with the Fighting Maroons leading against the Green Archers, 5-13.
The second quarter started with the Taft-based squad trying to gather themselves on offense. Prince Rivero played as a tough scrapper on the boards. He was relentless on both offense and defense. Prince was able to control the post as he made magical up and under moves and putbacks throughout the game. He was also able to contribute hugely on the charity stripe.
Prince was able to finish his first half campaign with 10 points and nine rebounds. For UP, they received devastating news as their player Kyles Lao suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury just after playing for 7 minutes in the game. The first half ended with the score 35-32 with DLSU leading.
The Lasallian squad took the third quarter more seriously as they made a needed run to increase their lead. UP on the other hand, started to struggle on defense. They started bringing the Green Archers to the charity stripe that proved to be a factor for DLSU. Physical defense was the highlight of the game that even caused Jeron Teng to injure his ankle during the last shot attempt of the third quarter. By the end of the third quarter, it was riddled with fouls and freethrows. The score became 59-53 still favoring DLSU.
Fourth quarter proved to be a scoring drought for DLSU. UP took advantage of the fact that DLSU had problems converting their free throws. The Green Archers went 57% from the charity stripe and even missed six straight during this crucial quarter. The Fighting Maroons then made a full court trap defensive play to force DLSU to turn the ball over. With this, UP was even able to lead the game and almost escaped with the win. But with the will to win, Abu Tratter crashed the boards to convert putbacks and finally convert in the free throw line. Caracut added a three-pointer to catch up to the lead. The fourth quarter ended with a deadlocked game that then went into overtime.
Overtime came and the exchange of buckets continued. With Dave Moralde of UP splitting his free throws, this gave UP the lead. But, with Tratter and Rivero controlling the post, DLSU was able to regain the lead.
The lead changed 4 times during overtime. This game proved to be a thriller as the exchange came and went, both offense and defense sagged off as they went to the dying minutes of the game. With the score at 79-78, Andrei Caracut took the ball to lead the offense. Andrei made a sweet turnaround jumper that sealed a three-point lead for La Salle. Both teams then split their free throws that pushed the score to 82-79.
In the dying seconds of the game, UP had three chances to tie the game with three-point attempts but just couldn’t make it fall. DLSU eventually defeated UP with the final score 82-79.
Coach Juno Sauler had mixed opinions with the game. He felt that the game was too physical for both teams as they both lost valuable players to injury. DLSU couldn’t box out properly and gave up 25 offensive rebounds to UP. Ball control was questionable as they turned the ball over 23 times. He just hopes that they can still improve all their aspects and continue their winning ways throughout the tournament.
The DLSU Green Archers improved their record to 2-1 with that win. They will next face the University of the East Red Warriors on May 16 at the same venue.