The Heavy Bombers pulled out a huge upset win over the De La Salle Green Archers 69-68.
After a lackluster first half which saw them trail JRU by 18, the “real” Green Archers showed up during the second half. La Salle played with more fire, with more “Animo” thanks to the efforts of Jeron Teng, Arnold Van Opstal and Almond Vosotros. La Salle managed to cut the huge deficit all the way down to five. JRU ended the third quarter strong to maintain the lead but clearly, momentum is with the reigning UAAP Champions going into the final quarter.
La Salle continued to be aggressive during the fourth quarter as JRU struggled to get baskets during the early part of the fourth quarter. Thanks to back-to-back baskets by Jason Perkins, La Salle was able to grab the lead, 63-59. It was however short-lived as JRU managed to regain the lead down the stretch.
In the dying seconds and the Heavy Bombers up by a point, Teng drove hard to the basket and found Perkins open but he was unable to convert what could have been the game-winning basket.
After struggling during the game against UE, Jeron Teng had a good all-around game against JRU. He scored 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 dimes. He even contributed two steals and a block. He shot well from the field in this game at 50%. He was also 6 of 7 from the foul line.
Arnold Van Opstal finished with 13 points and 7 boards. Almond Vosotros scored 13 points while Jason Perkins added 8.
More importantly, the team showed their ability to rally from a big lead. Unfortunately, their comeback trail fell short.
Another free throw slump as the team made just 12 of 20 attempts.
La Salle had 25 turnovers compared to only 12 for the Heavy Bombers. With a depleted backcourt, La Salle had a hard time cracking the full court press of JRU. Ironic if you look at it given how the Archers effectively used the press for many years under Coach Franz Pumaren.
Remember, now-UE Coach Derrick Pumaren was a consultant for JRU a few seasons ago and for sure JRU Head Coach Vergel Meneses, who is also an assistant coach of Coach Franz in the PBA, learned a lot from the vaunted Pumaren full-court press.
The Archers clearly missed the services of Coach Juno Sauler, who is in the United States. Assistant Coach Allan Caidic called the shots for this game.
Next stop for the Archers is the “Cebu Leg” of the FIL-OIL tournament. La Salle will face three of the strongest Cebu teams and underestimating them is a not an option. The Cebu teams would want nothing more than to beat the UAAP champions as they prepare for the CESAFI tournament so the Archers needs to be ready for that.