Green Archers Force Rubber Match with Game Two Triumph over the Growling Tigers

Published on October 11th, 2013 | by DLSU Sports

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On the brink of elimination, the De La Salle University Green Archers displayed a dominating performance to earn a 77-70 victory over the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers to level the best-of-three UAAP Season 76 Men’s Basketball Championship series at one game apiece Saturday afternoon at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

DLSU Coach Juno Sauler only fielded seven of his 12 available players throughout the match, with the starting unit averaging 33 minutes in the ball game. The thin rotation rewarded Sauler as all of them got to score and contribute heavily in this crucial game.

Like many times before, Jeron Teng spearheaded the attack of the Archers as the former Xavier standout was a rebound shy of a double-double with 19 points, 9 caroms, and 4 assists. In addition, the renowned twin-tower combination of Norbert Torres and Arnold Van Opstal combined for 29 points, 24 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists controlling the shaded lane on both ends of the floor in the game.

On the other hand, Jeron’s brother, Jeric Teng, paced the Growling Tigers with 28 points and Cameroonian center Karim Abdul also pocketed 13 markers with 9 rebounds to go along with a foul trouble-limited performance. “Of course it was a big thing [that everyone contributed] because in the first game we played more of on our own so come game two the objective was to share the ball and trust one another,” said Jeron Teng in a mix of English and Filipino.

Leading 64-53 to start the fourth period, the Green Archers carried the momentum as Jason Perkins sniped from downtown, pushing the lead up to 14 points. Abdul’s five-point charge brought life to the UST gallery. But just as seem that UST will make a strong comeback, La Salle had all the answers to keep the Growling Tigers at bay. The Green Archers kept their lead in double digits with the biggest at 14 points still at 77-63 with 4:10 to go in regulation via Norbert Torres’ two converted freebies.

The Growling Tigers, needing only a win to secure their 19th UAAP men’s basketball championship, attempted a final run to crawl back into the game. The Thomasians powered their way through Karim Abdul’s completed and-one play, Jeric Teng’s banked shot off a drive on the left flank, and Kevin Ferrer’s two free throw conversions off Jeron Teng’s foul from the rainbow region to reduce the Archers’ lead to 7 points at 77-70 with 49 seconds left in the ball game.

The Tigers, at that time, were not yet in the penalty, so they were forced to foul twice in order to send the Archers to the foul line. Kim Lo was able to let Perkins shoot free throws—both of which the Fil-Am big man missed. With time certainly against the Tigers, they attempted to make a shot that was off target and landed on the hands of Van Opstal who collected his 14th rebound just before time expired and officially brought La Salle to equal footing with UST in the race for the coveted UAAP men’s basketball title. _JGF6493

Sauler told that the preparation for next week’s title-clinching game will begin as soon as Sunday. He furthered, “We’ll just work not only on the aspect of basketball but also on the mind set on how to play the fourth quarter to close out games,” after his wards only made 13 points inside the last 10 minutes, furthermore, going scoreless in the last 4:10 of the ball game.

It was a see-saw battle at the beginning of the match that had six lead changes and a deadlock in the first period. The Green Archers created a separation in the last three and a half minutes of the opening canto, leading to nine unanswered points to finish ahead 21-12 by the quarter break.

The Green Archers’ lead swelled to as much as 17 points courtesy of a six-point surge by guard Almond Vosotros. From that point, UST became more aggressive in attacking the La Salle defense. Their inside incursions were rewarded with 10 free throws, all but one of those was made to cut into the Green Archers’ advantage down to eight at halftime.

A well-rehearsed Salinggawi and Yellow Jackets halftime performance seemed to have galvanized UST who found themselves under La Salle’s nose at one point of the third quarter. Back-to-back treys from Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista placed the Tigers within a possession from regaining the lead, 43-44.

In response, Arnold Van Opstal took over after the Green Archers called time. Van Opstal scored four points while issuing an assist to Jason Perkins, who drained a wide-open shot down the low post to bring La Salle’s lead to 7 points, 50-43 with less than five minutes left in the third period. An LA Revilla jumper, Almond Vosotros three, and another Norbert Torres inside basket increased La Salle’s lead to 12 points, 57-45 which made Coach Pido Jarencio push the time out button with 3:11 left still in the third period.

UST mustered a 6-2 run before things got heated up in the middle of the court. Ferrer did not escape punishment as he was seen doing deliberate actions on Norbert Torres on the video replay. The former UAAP Juniors’ MVP was consequently slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul. Norbert Torres made both free throws and stretched La Salle’s lead back to double digits by completing a three-point play on the accompanying possession. Jeric Teng and Perkins exchanged baskets to end the quarter with La Salle ahead by 11 at 64-53.

The winner-take-all match is set to take place in the Mall of Asia Arena on October 12, Saturday, at 3:30 PM.

The scores:

DLSU (77) —Teng 19, N. Torres, van Opstal 13, Vosotros 11, Revilla 9, Perkins 7, T. Torres 2

UST (70) —Teng 28, Abdul 13, Mariano 9, Sheriff 6, Ferrer 6, Bautista 6, Lo 2, Pe 0, Daquioag 0

Quarter scores: 21-12, 41-33, 64-53, 77-70.

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