Lady Archers digest back-to-back losses with 54-point whipping from Lady Bulldogs

(Photo by Karl Dela Cruz) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers absorbed their second straight loss of the UAAP Season 82 after bowing down to the defending champions National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, 58-112, yesterday, September 11, at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Veteran Chuchi Paraiso paced the team with 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists in the losing effort. Rookie Kent Pastrana continued her splendid performance with an all-around game of 12 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Right from the get go, the Lady Bulldogs showed why they are the defending champions of the tournament. Pringle Fabruada nailed a basket that ignited a 5-0 start for the Lady Bulldogs. A basket by Angel Quingco from Paraiso put the Lady Archers on the scoreboard. But, with 5:42 remaining in the first quarter, head coach Cholo Villanueva was forced to call a timeout as their deficit increased to 10 points, 7-17. The Green-and-White continued to struggle getting buckets as the Blue-and-Gold, on the other hand, widened the gap to 16, 9-25. At the end of the opening period, the Lady Archers trailed the Lady Bulldogs, 9-29.

La Salle found no opportunity in the second quarter either as the Lady Bulldogs fought back with rebounds and a barrage of three-pointers, allowing the Lady Archers only one point until the 5:08 mark. The Taft-based squad slowly found rhythm in the remainder of the half, as veterans Charmaine Torres and Bettina Binaohan paced the team. Pastrana knocked down a badly-needed triple 1:01 remaining in the half, but her team was already looking up to a 35-point mountain, 27-62, to climb.

It was a slow start for both teams in the third quarter as La Salle locked down NU for almost five minutes. The Lady Archers capitalized with consecutive baskets as they aimed to trim NU’s lead. At the end of the quarter, the Jhocson-based squad was limited to only eight points. However, their cushion was just still too big for the Taft-based squad, who remained behind, 43-70.

The Lady Archers managed to bring themselves back to as much as within 24, 46-70. But a 12-2 run by the Lady Bulldogs restored a 34 lead. The defending champions pushed the tempo even further as they hit the century mark with three minutes remaining in the game. La Salle could only stare at a 50-point deficit as they absorbed their second loss.

The DLSU Lady Archers (1-2) will try to arrest their two-game skid as they go against the UE Lady Red Warriors on Saturday, September 14, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Scores:

DLSU (58) – Paraiso 14, Pastrana 12, Revillosa 8, Binaohan 7, Quingco 6, Torres 3, Sario 3, Castillo 3, Okoli 2

NU (112) – Itesi 20, Clarin 19, Animam 18, Pingol 14, Hayes 11, Cac 9, Supada 4, Canuto 4, Cacho 4, Bartolo 3, Harada 2, Fabruada 2, Del Carmen 2

Quarterscores: 9-29, 27-62, 43-70, 58-112

Green Archers avert collapse versus Bulldogs to pick up win no. 1

(Photo by Kiana Carlos) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers survived a late scare from the National University (NU) Bulldogs to clinch their first win of their UAAP Season 82 campaign, 83-82, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Eager to make a difference from their last outing, the Green Archers hopped on to a strong start in the opening quarter. Everything went well on both ends as the Taft-based squad connected their shots and created stops. A triple by Justine Baltazar forced an early 11-point lead, 17-6, as La Salle led NU at the end of the first canto, 22-12.

In what seemed to be a development of another second quarter fiasco, it was a nightmare start for the Green Archers, who committed one turnover after another. On the other hand, the Bulldogs cut their deficit to as small as five, 21-26. However, Baltazar had other plans. The fourth year center erupted for a personal 7-0 run to restore order and halt NU’s offensive strike. La Salle’s ball movement worked wonders and eventually led to a 10-point spread, 42-32, at the end of the first half.

It was Malonzo time in the third canto. After failing to strike a score across his name, Jamie Malonzo announced his presence scoring, dishing out passes, and defending for the Green Archers. La Salle kept a double-digit cushion, 67-57, after the third frame and entering the final period.

The Green-and-White cooled off in the fourth quarter as a three-minute scoring drought gave the Blue-and-Gold a window to catch up. An aggressive 16-4 run by the Jhocson-based squad saw the Bulldogs knocking at all doors in Taft. Shaun Ildefonso knocked down a three to cut La Salle’s deficit to five, 76-81. The Bulldogs’ team captain made the Green Archers pay with another triple that gave them an 82-81 lead following back-to-back errors by Joel Cagulangan. With less than 15 ticks in the game, Aljun Melecio found a sliding Kurt Lojera who buried a cold-blooded jumper that proved to be the winner for their team, 83-82.

The DLSU Green Archers (1-1) look to build their first winning streak of the season as they face the UE Red Warriors on Saturday, September 14, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Scores:

DLSU (83) – Baltazar 23, Malonzo 14, Melecio 10, Caracut 7, Lojera 6, Meeker 6, Serrano 6, Bates 4, Pado 4, Cagulangan 3

NU (82) – S. Ildefonso 26, Clemente 19, Gallego 12, Gaye 11, D. Ildefonso 8, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Mosqueda 2

Lady Archers succumb to Ateneo as Okoli double-double goes for naught

(Co-written by Genrev Villamin) (Photo by Flavius Dulce) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers suffered their first loss of the UAAP Season 82 in a tight ending against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles, 90-92, yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Maureen Okoli posted a huge double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds, while Kent Pastrana continued her remarkable performance with 21 points, four rebounds, and five steals. Lee Sario added 15 points for the Lady Archers in the losing cause.

Ateneo stepped on the pedal at the onset of the game. They took an early 3-2 lead with a triple from Alyssa Villamor, before blowing it to 20-12 at the 5:49 mark of the opening period courtesy of a Kat Guytingco basket. From thereon, La Salle unleashed an 18-6 run including an initial 8-0 run to tie it at 20-all. The first quarter finished with the Lady Archers on top, 30-26.

The Green-and-White extended their biggest lead to seven, 36-29, after Rossini Espinas buried a triple off a dish by Angel Quingco with 7:41 to go at the first half. A basket by Bernice Paraiso pushed the game to its first double-digit spread, 42-31. Ateneo finished the half with four unanswered points as the Lady Archers settled for a seven-point advantage, 52-45.

The Blue-and-White strung five more points to start the third quarter to bring themselves to within two, 50-52, with 7:15 remaining. A bucket by Okoli made it another two-possession cushion for her team, but the Taft-based squad surrendered their lead after Villamor connected back-to-back treys to give the Katipunan-based squad a 58-54 lead. The Lady Archers were held scoreless from the 7:02 mark of the third quarter up to the 3:27 mark. A long-distance shot by Mel Newsome gave the Lady Eagles their first double-digit lead at 71-60. They pushed it to 14 as La Salle ended the third trailing, 63-77.

At the final period, it was a catchup game to be played by the Lady Archers. They chopped their deficit to only single digits, 75-84, at the 5:25 mark via a Pastrana two-pointer. With less than four minutes remaining in the game, the Lady Eagles seemed to have kept their opponents at bay, relaxing on an 89-80 lead. However, the Green-and-White would not back down as an Espinas basket started a comeback for her team. La Salle’s defense forced six turnovers and two missed baskets from Ateneo in the last three minutes. Team captain Bennette Revillosa logged her only two points with 36 ticks to go to pull her team to the closest it had ever been, 90-92. A shot clock violation called against Ateneo gave La Salle the final possession, but Pastrana back-rimmed the game-tying shot.

The DLSU Lady Archers (1-1) will face the still undefeated and defending champions NU Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday, September 11, 8 AM at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Scores:

DLSU (90) – Pastrana 21, Okoli 19, Sario 15, Espinas 7, Binaohan 6, Quingco 6, Del Campo 5, Torres 5, Paraiso 4, Revillosa 2

ADMU (92) – Villamor 20, Guytingco 15, Newsome 14, Yam 14, Chu 11, Joson 10, Nimes 8

Quarterscores: 30-26, 52-45, 63-77, 90-92

Comeback falls short as Green Archers lose season debut against Ateneo

(Photo by Flavius Dulce) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers opened their campaign on a misstep after bowing to the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 69-81, earlier today, September 8, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Archers’ first game had all the indications of a close and exciting matchup against their archrivals the Blue Eagles. Right from the get go, the Taft-based squad put their foot on the pedal and had the Eagles on their heels on the defensive end throughout the first period.

Contrasting styles on the offensive end was apparent, La Salle dictated the pace and took every opportunity to get out on transition on the offensive end. Meanwhile, Ateneo continued their slow and steady approach relying on crisp execution to run their offense. Both teams traded baskets in the early goings of the quarter. As Ateneo looked to pull away, ahead by six, 7-13, Jamie Malonzo announced his presence in the UAAP and unleashed a vicious and 1 dunk, 10-13, to snap the Eagles’ momentum. The play seemed to reinvigorate the Archers as they stuck close to end the first frame down by just two, 21-23.

The second frame seemed like it would continue the breakneck pace of the opening quarter as a quick drive by Andrei Caracut tied the game 23 apiece. The Eagles however had other plans as they quickly adjusted their defensive gameplan to disrupt the Archers’ free flowing offense. The defensive pressure combined with questionable fouls by La Salle prevented fastbreaks and slowed the pace of the game in favor of Ateneo. With the game running at a different pace, La Salle struggled to get their offense going throughout the quarter managing to score just eight points. The defending champions capitalized and went on a crippling 19-1 run to close the quarter and bury the Archers in a 20 point deficit.

Off the halftime break, the Eagles continued to stifle the Archer’s offense maintaining their lead early in the quarter. Ateneo looked on their way to a blowout when the Archers showed signs of life. A four point play by Caracut sparked a 13-6 run to cut the Eagles’ lead to 15, 57-42. La Salle continued to rally towards the end of the third frame as Malonzo fired a triple to cut the lead to 13, 63-50 in the final minutes of the quarter. But Ateneo responded with a triple of their own to close the period, 66-50.

Strangely enough, the fourth and final frame proved to be the decider. Despite falling in a huge deficit early, La Salle unleashed a furious barrage near the final minutes of the match. Back-to-back layups by Encho Serrano and Aljun Melecio cut the deficit to single digits, 71-62, prompting a quick timeout from Ateneo to try to stop the Archer uprising. The ceasefire seemed to do the trick as Ateneo maintained their lead as the minutes trickled down to end the match, 81-69.

Gian Mamuyac played the role of the hero for the defending champions answering big baskets by Baltazar and Caracut, snuffing out any hopes for a La Salle comeback. The up and coming Eagle won Player of the Game honors, finishing with 14 points, six coming from the last three minutes of the game, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

For the Green Archers, Malonzo had an impressive showing, leading the team in the scoring department with 18. Caracut and Baltazar also helped power La Salle’s offense, both scoring in double digits, 14 and 10.

Scores:

DLSU (69) – Malonzo 18, Caracut 14, Baltazar 10, Serrano 8, Melecio 7, Lojera 6, Manuel 6

ADMU (81) – Nieto Mi 18, Nieto Ma 15, Mamuyac 14, Navarro 8, Andrade 6, Kouame 6, Ravena 6, Tio 4, Belangel 2, Go 2

Quarterscores: 21-23, 29-51, 50-66, 69-81

Catch the Green Archers as they try to grab their first win of the season against the NU Bulldogs on September 11 (Wednesday) at the same venue.

UAAP Season 82 Team Preview: DLSU Green Archers

(Photo by Pauline Recto) The roads had never been any smoother for the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers as they entered the post-Mayhem era in the UAAP Season 81.

DLSU Green Archers in Season 81: finished the eliminations 8-6 (tied with FEU at 4th place), lost to FEU in playoff game to finish 5th place

The Green Archers lost former head coach Aldin Ayo and key cogs Ricci Rivero and two-time MVP Ben Mbala. From contending for the Season 80 title, the boys finished Season 81 one basket shy of a third straight Final Four appearance. This forced the Taft-based squad to a major overhaul in the offseason.

We take a look at what else we can expect from the Green Archers, who will be entering Season 82 full of motivation.

LOOKING BACK

Almost a year after Arvin Tolentino knocked down that cold-blooded triple that ousted the Green Archers from the Final Four race, memories of that heartbreak remain vivid not only for the athletes but also to the Lasallian community.

Then third year guard and now co-captain Aljun Melecio noted that even though they were not able to secure the last ticket to the semis, the experience they gained was helpful. “Konti lang yung mga seniors last season, so marami kaming na-gain na experience coming through this season,” he shared.

Injuries also took a toll on the Taft-based squad with last season’s team captain Kib Montalbo fracturing his thumb and Taane Samuel almost missing the entire season after injuring his foot in just his first game. With just 13 players on board, the team struggled to find the right formula.

MAJOR OVERHAUL (PLAYERS)

La Salle will be bannering a lineup looking to turn heads as they play in Season 82. While almost half of the squad will be representing the Green-and-White for the first time, need not be scared as they know for sure how to handle the pressure.

Additions: Jordan Bartlett, Joel Cagulangan, Ralph Cu, Francis Escandor, Tyrus Hill, Donn Lim, Kurt Lojera, Jamie Malonzo, Keyshawn Meeker, James Pado

La Salle made silent waves in the offseason by acquiring the services of Jamie Malonzo, Keyshawn Meeker, and James Pado. With four years of experience of USA collegiate basketball on board, they are expected to showcase maturity and leadership in their one-and-done season for the Green Archers.

Suiting up from high school, on the other hand, is Joel Cagulangan. Arguably the best point guard in their class, Cagulangan committed to the Green Archers even before graduating from La Salle Greenhills.

Eager to rock the stage in the seniors division, the former NCAA Season 94 Juniors MVP expressed that there will be a huge transition from high school to college ball. “Back to zero. Lahat ng na-achieve mo nung high school, hindi mo na mapapakinabangan sa college.” He added, “Kailangan triplehin mo effort mo. Mahirap talaga.”

Completing the Green Archers overhaul are Jordan Bartlett, Tyrus Hill, and Kurt Lojera, who all have finished serving residency and are ready to don the green and white jerseys. Known as a defensive specialist, Bartlett expressed, “Personally, I believe I can lift this team up on the defensive end. I take pride in my ability to pressure the ball, to defend 90 feet.” Moreover, he also boasts his ability to make plays as the playmaker. Nevertheless, he is ready to help in the aspects the team needs him. He assured, “In any way or any role the coach or the team needs me, I am ready to contribute.”

Holdovers: Justine Baltazar, Brandon Bates, Andrei Caracut, Joaqui Manuel, Aljun Melecio, Encho Serrano

Melecio will be joined by graduating guard and team captain Andrei Caracut and Season 81 Mythical Five member Justine Baltazar. The trio, remnants of the Green Archers team who won the Season 79 title in 2016, will be taking on a huge task to lead the troops this time.

Down to his final playing year with the team and the UAAP stage, now is the time for seasoned veteran Caracut to show what he has got. The former San Beda Red Cub standout won the Rookie of the Year award in his first year with La Salle. However, he had failed to find his groove and live up to expectations in Season 81. Given the load on his shoulders, Caracut vowed to be a good leader to his squad. He mentioned, “Kung paano ako gumalaw, kailangan maayos ako at may disiplina. Kailangan gayahin nila ako, kumbaga good example.” Off the court, he shares his championship stint to inspire his younger teammates. “Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na yung championship naging life-changing sa akin, kahit limited time lang akong naglaro sa Finals.”

Meanwhile, Baltazar never really got to show his abilities when he played alongside fellow center Mbala. However, he got his biggest break when he became the team’s main big man, producing consistent figures en route to his Mythical Team recognition.

Melecio will continue to boast his shooting ability as the team’s main gunner. The fourth-year scoring machine looks to provide quick points and clutch baskets down the stretch. The confidence Melecio possesses will definitely be a key factor for the Green Archers’ campaign.

Departures: Mark Dyke, Jollo Go, Kib Montalbo, Taane Samuel, Leonard Santillan

MAJOR OVERHAUL (COACHING STAFF)

Not only are the Green Archers set to parade a new group of players, but also some fresh faces on their bench. Even the coaching staff were not exempted from the team’s major overhaul during the offseason, causing headlines barely months after La Salle’s elimination.

Taking the head coaching duties for the Green Archers in Season 82 is Gian Nazario, a long-time deputy at De La Salle Zobel. He will be partnered by former NBA G-League coach Jermaine Byrd as the team’s active consultant.

Nazario noted that the boys spent time adjusting to his system at first. “(It) took them a while, but we had to show them videos and kinda made comparisons with the players on how we want them to be,” he shared. “It wasn’t really difficult. We just had to keep reminding them kung anong kailangan gawin and what is expected of them.”

Nevertheless, these efforts blossomed into something positive. “I think it showed during the Filoil (Flying V Preseason Premier Cup). We were able to play in the Finals, although we came out short. Afterwards, it as just a matter of everyday, we try to get better. Every practice, we try to get better, and we’re all on the same page. The players are all on the same page in terms of improving their skills.”

On the other hand, thanks to the great acceptance of the team, it became easy for Byrd to adjust with the boys. “The new players, along with the new high school players, they allowed me to coach them. As a group, we are doing better every day, every practice, and every warm up game.”

Byrd takes pride of the Green Archers’ depth. “We have 16 guys who can play. This team, the way I constructed it, the way I built it, the way I wanted it to be built, it is not about one player. It is about the team. If one guy is not getting it done that night, we have another guy at that position whose night it might be.” He continued, “I think we are three or four deep at every position, and all guys know if they do not have it going that night, the other guy will get the opportunity to play.”

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT

With pretty much new faces making up the entire squad, it will be difficult to predict what may happen. However, Byrd promised a Green Archers team not to sleep on. “They can expect a team that has a lot of enjoyment, a fun-paced team, a team that’s gonna get up and down and score a lot of points, but a team that is also going to play together and also going to play defense.”

Compared with the previous season, Melecio noted that the Green Archers are now more complete in terms of chemistry, players, and coaching staff, making them more versatile to play what style would be effective. He claimed, “We can play fast. We can play slow. Also, yung defense namin, complete na yung materials for our bigs.”

Caracut vowed as he starts his senior year, “We’ll give our best. We’ll play with pride and attitude ng pagiging Lasallian. Nagta-trabaho kami sa practice for the institution, hindi lang para sa sarili namin. Mag-eenjoy sila.”

The DLSU Green Archers look to storm the UAAP community as they open their Season 82 campaign against their archrivals and two-time defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles tomorrow, September 8, 4 PM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Lady Archers deal Fighting Lady Maroons blowout loss to secure season opener

(Photo by Jempoy Pimentel) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers began their UAAP Season 82 campaign on a positive note after dealing the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons a 31-point beating, 78-47, on Wednesday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Kent Pastrana, who made her debut for the Green-and-White in the UAAP, introduced herself in the best way possible. The rookie anchored the Lady Archers behind a near triple-double performance of 24 points, 14 rebounds, and six steals.

The Taft-based squad got on the driver’s seat early in the game. They took an 11-7 lead after the first frame. From there on, the Lady Archers pulled away to make it an 18-point lead after three, 52-34. The Diliman-based squad never recovered up to the final buzzer.

Team captain Bennette Revillosa contributed 13 markers, three boards, and four swipes. Third year Bernice Paraiso added eight points, while rookie Maureen Okoli logged seven points to her name.

Meanwhile, Jona Lebico was the only Fighting Lady Maroon who finished in double figures. She led her team with 11 points.

The DLSU Lady Archers (1-0) look to build their first winning streak as they face the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Sunday, September 8, 10 AM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Scores:

DLSU 78 – Pastrana 24, Revillosa 13, Paraiso 8, Okoli 7, Torres 7, Sario 6, Quingco 5, Del Campo 3, Malarde 3, Binaohan 2

UP 47 – Lebico 11, Sanchez 9, Gusilatar 6, Ordoveza 6, Pesquera 4, Rivera 4, De Leon 3, Gonzales 2, Taulava 2

Quarterscores: 11-7, 32-17, 52-34, 78-47

UAAP Season 82 Team Preview: DLSU Lady Archers

(Photo by Jempoy Pimentel) Two years removed from the UAAP Final Four, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers begin their Season 82 campaign hungry for a spot back into the semifinals.

DLSU Lady Archers in Season 81: 8-6 (5th place)

Holdovers: Bettina Binaohan, Rhea Castillo, Lauryn Del Campo, Rossini Espinas, Jel Jajurie, Marga Jimenez, Vea Malarde, Bernice Paraiso, Angel Quingco, Bennette Revillosa, Lee Sario, Charmaine Torres

Additions: Mica Camba, Beatrix Dalisay, Maureen Okoli, Kent Pastrana

Departures: Joe Arciga, Khate Castillo, Camille Claro, Kat Nunez

Led by then graduating point guard and team captain Camille Claro, the Lady Archers started Season 81 on a high note, winning their first two games against the Adamson Soaring Lady Falcons and the UE Lady Red Warriors. Claro, who missed the entire Season 80 after suffering an ACL injury, made an immediate impact as one of the pillars of the team.

Their back-to-back wins, however, were halted when they absorbed back-to-back losses to eventual finalists, the four-time defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs and the FEU Lady Tamaraws. The tables turned as they connected three consecutive wins against UST, UP, and Ateneo to finish the first round win-loss record of 5-2 placing third behind NU and FEU.

The Cholo Villanueva-mentored squad seemed to have hit a huge wall when they dropped three straight games to start the second round. They lost to UE, before the Lady Bulldogs dealt them an unforgettable 47-point massacre, for their worst outing of the season, 64-111. They sank to a 5-5- win-loss record after their second meeting with FEU.

Determined to improve their record to above 0.500, they bounced back by sweeping their elimination round games against UP, Adamson, and Ateneo, respectively.

With a win-loss record of 8-5, the Lady Archers’ Final Four hopes were still very much in their hands as they remained in third place ahead of their match against UST (7-6), who was also wrestling for a slot in the semis. On the other hand, a win by Adamson solidified their entry and gave them one of the last two seats in the Final Four.

The same result would have easily given La Salle a third place finish in the eliminations and eliminate UST from contention. Instead, the Golden Tigresses dragged the Lady Archers to a rubber match with a win that gave both of them an 8-6 card. UST then went on to win the playoff match to close the Taft-based squad’s Season 81 and send them to their second straight premature exit.

Tomorrow, the DLSU Lady Archers will commence their Season 82 campaign at 10 AM. They will face the UP Fighting Lady Maroons at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

The Green-and-White will be led by team captain Bennette Revillosa and veteran holdovers Marga Jimenez, Bernice Paraiso, and Charmaine Torres. Meanwhile, Mica Camba, Beatrix Dalisay, Maureen Okoli, and Kent Pastrana will be among the new faces to watch out for the Lady Archers.

Learning from what happened to them in Season 81, Revillosa stated, “Each game is important. It can make or break the chances of being in the postseason.”

To prepare for the upcoming season, the Lady Archers participated in various tournaments and tuneup games in the offseason. “We learned a different way of playing basketball from different teams we encountered especially during the Xiamen Tournament,” the team captain shared.

It will be a big adjustment for them since they only have a few senior players. Hence, they tried to develop chemistry with their rookies through various tournaments and tuneup games.

Revillosa vowed to be “a role model that they (rookies) can look up to whenever they feel down and help them to pick themselves up.” She added, “I do my best to play well each game because it can be a tool for me to easily motivate them in times of their struggles.”

The Lady Archers reiterated that their goal will always be none less than the championship. But for Revillosa, before they can reach that, they need to have a concrete goal. She expressed, “We have to get at least 14 wins.” But she also mentioned that they are currently a work in progress, and they will take things one at a time.

Expect the DLSU Lady Archers to go all out each game as they strive #4wardLaSalle in UAAP Season 82.

DYNASTY! Lady Booters vanquish FEU to claim third straight title

Photo by: Dara Evangelista

Poised to win it all in the championship match, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters entered their final game of the season brimming with confidence as they faced the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws.

Indeed after 90 minutes of ball game, the Lady Booters delivered, pulling a 2-0 win over their rivals to be hailed as the champions of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Football tournament yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

With the victory, La Salle cemented their dynasty off a third consecutive title that also allowed them to become the winningest team in the league’s history, bannering 11 championships. The Lady Booters broke what was erstwhile a shared record between them and, coincidentally, the Lady Tamaraws, whose number remained at 10.

La Salle and FEU kept the game tight after figuring out in a nil to nil scoring at the first half.

In the second half, Sara Castañeda capitalized on a free kick at the 53rd minute of the match. The 22-year-old midfielder found Rocelle Mendaño, who finished with a header to put La Salle up, 1-0. At the 79th mark, Shai Del Campo sent the ball at the back of the net for a 2-0 lead, sinking the Lady Tamaraws effectively.

During the awarding ceremony, the Taft-based squad bagged various individual awards led by Castañeda’s MVP and Best Midfielder prizes. After leading the Green-and-White in scoring, Del Campo claimed the Best Striker and Rookie of the Year awards. Tashka Lacson defended her Best Goalkeeper title.

Late defensive lapse against Ateneo costs Green Booters elusive title

Photo by: Drea Mateo

The drought continues for the Green-and-White after the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters fell short in their championship match against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Ninety minutes was almost enough to determine the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football champions as the Green Booters looked to hang on to their slim 1-0 edge against the Blue Eagles. However, just right after four minutes of time was added in the regulation, a Jarvey Gayoso stunner off a costly defensive error tied the game at 1-all. That paved way to an extra time, where Ateneo overtook La Salle to steal the title.

The entire La Salle squad made a good effort in disrupting Ateneo’s offense, not allowing the ball to go to back of the net even with a series of corners and free kicks towards the break. The first half ended with neither team producing a goal.

Riding on the momentum they built from the first half, the Taft-based squad spit fire after another, but AJ Arcilla proved why he was hailed Best Goalkeeper this season.

At the 78th minute, the Green Booters finally struck first with a hard-earned strike from Mohammad Almohjili. Coming off the counterattack, the rookie striker ran past two defenders to tally another goal to his name.

Ateneo refused to wave the white flag and continued to step on the gas pedal, creating chances after chances. While La Salle thought the championship was secured under their belt, Jarvey Gayoso deemed otherwise. The eventual Season MVP and Finals MVP just needed one out of the four minutes added time to bring his team back in contention with a conversion from a through ball that caught the defenders off-guard. He almost made it double, but Mig Brosoto refused to concede the match, coming up with a crucial back-to-back save.

It was at the 99th minute that allowed the Katipunan-based squad to put one hand on the trophy following a Julian Roxas header. Getting the rebound off a saved attempt, Luca Alleje showed composure and kicked up a spectacular cross that made it easy for Roxas to put the go-ahead goal for Ateneo.

While the Green-and-White showed heart and fought hard until the last whistle, they still failed to equalize the game, handing the gold to the opposing squad.

The loss extended the Green Booters’ waiting game as they continue to try to snap their title drought. However, on the bright side, three Lasallians garnered individual awards with Shanden Vergara getting the Rookie of the Year award, graduating senior Yoshi Koizumi bagging the Best Defender prize, and team captain Jed Diamante claiming the back-to-back Best Midfielder award.

The Green Booters will miss the services of Koizumi, Alfonso Montelibano, and Gyan de Vera. Nevertheless, with 13 rookies in their current lineup, the future looks bright for the Green-and-White after the gained experience from this season.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Lady Booters

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

With the UAAP Season 81 down to its last two winner-take-all games, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters are looking to close out their campaign with a victory to seal their third consecutive title and stamp their dynasty in the Women’s Football tournament.

Highly favored to repeat this season, the two-time defending champions, led by team captain Kyra Dimaandal, promising rookie Shai Del Campo, and solid goalkeeper Tashka Lacson, opened the first round with a bang and 3-1-0 win-draw-loss record. Amidst their struggles in the second round, where they figured in three draws out of four matches, the Lady Booters managed to stay on top of the league.

Their 4-4-0 slate was enough to send them straight to the Finals, their fourth consecutive appearance. However, after facing UST in the last two editions, they are set to renew their rivalry with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws this time around.

The DLSU-FEU rivalry is nothing new in the Women’s Football tournament, as the two have previously met in the Finals from Season 58 to Season 66. The Lady Booters have the edge though, taking five of those nine titles from the Lady Tamaraws. Both squads boast 10 championships each under their belts. Hence, it makes this season’s championship match a historic tie-breaker for the two winningest teams in the league’s history.

Although she has been in the Finals in each but one of her playing years, Dimaandal shared that the feeling is the same for the Lady Booters. “Same as last year, (we feel) nervous. We just want to defend the title.”

La Salle defeated the Morayta-based squad in their first encounter, before the latter figured in a draw with the Taft-based squad in their final assignments of the round-robin eliminations. Regardless of the elimination round results, the Dimaandal remains confident of her team’s chances.

“I know that we are capable of keeping the title in Taft. I trust that the girls will not settle for less than a championship,” she stated. The team captain continued, “The team is in good shape. We also have coaches that guide us in the game.”

Dimaandal knows that the title match will not be a walk in the park for them, just like any of their previous championships, “We need to improve on recovery from lapses and mistakes.” She ended, “We have to give not less than 101% and just want to win it more.”

Catch the DLSU Lady Booters in their final game of the season tomorrow, May 16, 2 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.