After a lethargic first half filled with turnovers and uncharacteristic defensive lapses, the DLSU Green Archers portrayed their championship-like play in the game’s final 24 minutes to get back in the contest against the JRU Heavy Bombers.
However, the guys in green were unable to get enough stops late and failed to convert the last shot of the match, leading to the first loss in their 2014 FilOil Hanes Flying V Premier Cup campaign, 69-68.
Jeron Teng had 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while Arnold Van Opstal had 13 markers and six boards to lead the Green Archers, which were mentored today by Assistant Coach Allan Caidic, who was stepping in for Juno Sauler, who is currently in the United States.
“Before the game, I told them that we can not take this team for granted. That’s exactly what happened,” said Coach Caidic after the game. “Imagine they had 44 points in the first half.”
JRU was spearheaded by Phillip Paniamogan, who submitted 16 points and three assists.
Unlike the previous three quarters, the Green Archers were the first team to gain steam in the fourth quarter, racing off to a 7-0 run to get within two, 57-55.
The Heavy Bombers answered with a lay-up on the other end, but DLSU proceeded to go on an 8-0 run – topped of by an Almond Vosotros bank shot – that gave them a 63-59 lead.
A couple of tough shots from Cris Dela Paz (8 points) kept the Green Archers from running away with the win with 1:46 left in the game. After DLSU turned the ball over, a reverse lay-up by Phillip Mabulac (6 points) helped his team regain the lead, 67-66.
In the ensuing possession, Vosotros, who totaled 13 markers and four dimes, was unable to convert on a jumper with the shot clock winding down. A few moments later, a mid-range J by Jaycee Asuncion (8 points) sinked in to give the Heavy Bombers a three-point advantage, 69-66.
Jason Perkins (8 points) answered back with a clutch lay-up to get DLSU within one with 32.4 seconds remaining, but failed to convert his game-winning bank shot later on as the clock trickled down to 0.0.
“We didn’t have any more time-outs. What I wanted was, I wanted Jeron to break down the defense and if someone collapsed, kick it to someone open. And that’s exactly what happened – he kicked it to Jason, it just so happened na inubos siya sa oras,” explained Coach Caidic.
The DLSU Green Archers’ offense was stagnant to start the game, as numerous missed shots and a number of turnovers allowed the Heavy Bombers to race off to an early advantage, 10-2, following a tough floater in the lane by Gio Lasquety (10 points).
Thanks to the heroics of Teng, who was effective scoring the ball and dishing out of double teams for assists in the first period, the Taft-based squad mustered a fightback to get within four. However, a tandem of threes by JRU and numerous trips to the free throw line place the Green Archers in a five-point deficit, 21-16, after 12 minutes of action.
The start of the second period didn’t go well for La Salle as well, as the Heavy Bombers connected on their third 3-ball of the game and hit another bucket to go up 10, 26-16, while DLSU committed more turnovers and missed jumpers on offense. The lead continued to rise up to 14, 35-21, with JRU pressuring the Green Archers into committing turnover after turnover while converting on jumpers of their own.
Coach Caidic’s guys had 25 total turnovers, which led to 17 JRU points.
An and-one play by Teng helped the boys in green trim the lead to 11, but five quick markers – capped off by a Lasquety triple – extended JRU’s breathing room back up to 16.
As La Salle continued to chalk up the handle, the Heavy Bombers entered halftime with a comfortable 44-26 lead.
Thanks to a couple of 3-balls from Vosotros, a put-back lay-up by Norbert Torres, (6 points) and a better sense of urgency on defense, DLSU unfurled a mini-run to start the third period and cut JRU’s threshold to 10, 45-35, three minutes into the second half.
A Teng three-pointer and a breakaway lay-up by Thomas Torres (4 points) a few moments later managed to get DLSU within five, but 10 crucial points from Tey Teodoro (12 points) kept the Green Archers at bay.
Heading into the final period, La Salle was faced with a nine-point deficit, 57-48.
“Sayang, we had a chance to win,” added Caidic.
“It’s a good wake-up call for us.”
JRU (69): Paniamogan 16, Teodoro 12, Lasquety 10, Asuncion 8, Dela Paz 8, Mabulac 6, Balagtas 5, Sanchez 2, Abdul Wahab 1, Benavides 1, Salaveria 0
DLSU (68): Teng 17, Van Opstal 13, Vosotros 13, Perkins 8, Torres N 6, Torres T 4, Andrada 4, Sargent 3, Mustre 0, Salem 0, Tampus 0, Rivero 0
Game Notes: Jason Perkins played his first game in the FilOil tournament after missing Game 1 with a left knee sprain; New recruit Daryl Pascual, a 6’5 forward/center from Pampanga was in uniform for DLSU today, but failed to see action; After the game, Coach Caidic said that Kib Montalbo missed today’s game due to an injured left thigh.