(Photo by Karl Dela Cruz) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers suffered back-to-back losses, and their third in four outings, after falling to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 55-66, earlier today at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Fresh off a heartbreaking loss against the UE Red Warriors, the Green Archers were determined to bounce back. With the return of Keyshawn Meeker (knee) and Jamie Malonzo (wrist) to the lineup, the Archers expected a different outcome to this crucial match. Unfortunately, it was the same old story for the Taft-based squad.
After a good start to take an early 13-7 lead, the Green-and-White fizzled as momentum swung to FEU. As La Salle struggled to buy a basket, the Tamaraws kicked into overdrive and went on a scorching 12-1 run, giving them the lead, 19-14, at the end of the first frame.
The opening minutes of the ensuing quarter spelled disaster for the Green Archers as the scoring drought continued. After starting the game shooting 66% from the field, the Taft-based squad went 0/11 bridging the first two quarters. The Tamaraws pushed extended their run to 23-3. Malonzo finally broke the dry spell on a trey that got the lid off the basket for La Salle, 17-21. La Salle failed to get into their groove before the break, surrendering to a double-digit deficit, 24-36.
Off the break, La Salle played with more urgency after a lackluster first half. Back-to-back baskets by Malonzo and Justine Baltazar gave the Green Archers a much needed boost to open the second half. Buckets began to fall as it was now the Tamaraws’ turn to struggle. Another triple by Malonzo cut the deficit to single digits, 31-40, with 7:50 remaining. La Salle kept the game close until a quick cut by Aljun Melecio got the Archers within striking distance, 39-44, forcing a timeout by FEU.
The fourth quarter got underway with DLSU still trailing, 43-49. La Salle looked to ride their momentum early until FEU reasserted control with a Comboy triple to open the quarter. The Tamaraws relied on the sweet-shooting guard’s stellar play as FEU seemed to have an answer for every La Salle rally. A layup by Comboy pushed the lead to 11, 64-53, with 1:35 remaining. That basket proved to be the final nail in the coffin as the succeeding possessions for the Green Archers ended in wild misses and desperate heaves.
The superb display continued for Malonzo, who finished with a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds as the lone bright spot for the Green Archers.
On the other hand, Patrick Tchuente led the Tamaraws with a strong game of 19 markers.
DLSU (55) – Malonzo 20, Caracut 10, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Melecio 5, Bates 2, Lojera 2, Meeker 2, Laput 2
FEU (66) – Tchuente 19, Comboy 11, Bienes 9, Eboña 8, Alforque 7, Gonzales 5, Tuffin 4, Torres 3
Quarterscores: 14-19, 24-36, 43-49, 55-66
The Green Archers’ next three assignments are never going to be any easier as they are set to face three teams currently among the top four in the standings. They start this Saturday, September 21.
Catch the DLSU Green Archers (1-3) as they try to regain their footing against the ADU Soaring Falcons (3-2) at the Ynares Center Antipolo.