Published on September 9th, 2018 | by Genrev Josiah Villamin0
DLSU Green Archers short in late comeback, drop season opener against FEU
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers fell short in their late comeback as they yielded to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 61-68, on Sunday, September 9, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle opened the game doubling up on FEU, 12-6, after Santi Santillan hit consecutive baskets. The 6-foot-5 forward flexed his muscles and was unstoppable en route to nine quick points. The Green Archers led the Tamaraws, 14-11, at the end of the first period.
FEU tied the game at 16 with free throws at the 6:44 mark of the second frame. Then, Ken Tuffin and Wendell Comboy made five straight points as their team pulled away, 21-16. But, Fourth year Green Archer Andrei Caracut tied the game at 21 with 4:22 remaining in the first half. Rookie guard Encho Serrano eventually gave La Salle back the lead, 23-22, off a swipe from team captain Kib Montalbo.
After two quarters, La Salle was ahead by a single-point, 26-25. Santillan who was held scoreless in the second period, nonetheless still led the team with nine points across his jersey.
Tied at 34 at the 7:24 mark of the third canto, the Taft-based squad burst with seven quick points to create a distance, 41-34. That then forced FEU head coach Olsen Racela to burn a timeout. Coming off the break, the Morayta-based squad responded with five unanswered points to bring themselves to within two, 39-41. However, the Green Archers, courtesy of Santillan and Caracut, respectively, were able to keep the Tamaraws at bay. Trailing by three, Axel Iñigo knocked down a buzzer-beating trey from top of the key to even the game at 48 entering the final period.
It was a seesaw battle for the protagonists as neither of them gave up the driver’s seat. FEU regained it finally, 55-53, after Tuffin nailed a three-pointer from the left with 5:14 remaining. Santillan answered with his own, but Tolentino’s triple at the 3:25 mark gave the Tamaraws the lead for good.
Santillan was a powerhouse on the court, carrying most of the load for the now Mbala-less Green Archers. He finished with a double-double performance of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Aljun Melecio added 11 points, but was 1/7 from deep, as only the two of them finished in double figures in scoring.
The Green Archers shot a decent 34% from the field. However, they were only 20% from outside the arc after missing all but five of their 24 attempts. It also did not help that 6-foot-8 rookie big man Taane Samuel sustained foot injury early in the game.
On the other hand, Tolentino led FEU after finishing with a team-high 13 points. Tuffin and Iñigo combined for 21 points.
Moreover, the Tamaraws converted 13 points off the Green Archers’ 15 turnovers, a far cry from the latter’s two points off the former’s 12 turnovers.
The DLSU Green Archers will attempt to claim their first win of the season on Saturday, September 15, as they face the Adamson University Soaring Falcons at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU (61) – Santillan 19, Melecio 11, Caracut 9, Baltazar 8, Montalbo 5, Serrano 3, Bates 2, Samuel 2, Manuel 1, Dyke 1, Go 0, Corteza 0, Capacio 0
FEU (68) – Tolentino 13, Tuffin 11, Iñigo 10, Comboy 9, Stockton 9, Cani 7, Parker 5, Eboña 2, Escoto 2, Orizu 0