For a time it seemed as if the teams had been hopelessly stuck in a tedious and repetitive script: Jeron Teng, Almond Vosotros, and the Green Archers would get off to a blistering start and would jump into an early lead, and then Bobby Ray Parks and the NU Bulldogs would decide to make things more interesting and mount a rally to tie things up.

In the game’s first four stanzas and first extra session, it seemed that the backbreaking routine would hold. La Salle began the second overtime with two three-point bombs, but the Bulldogs, remaining true to their moniker, doggedly mounted another comeback to draw within a basket of La Salle.

And had it not been for a late charity by Vosotros, the game would have gone to a third overtime.

With his team up by three, 86-83, and a little over eight seconds left on the clock, Vosotros was able to nail the first of his two freebies, giving La Salle a two-possession lead. And that lone free throw would make all the difference for the Archers.

Bulldog Ray-Ray Parks made a three-pointer with barely a second left on the clock, but by then the Archers were already celebrating their fourth win of the season, as they were able to withstand the Bulldogs and Parks’ 35 points, 87-86, and end the first round with a second straight victory that allowed them to finish with a 4-3 win-loss record and forge a tie with their victims for the fourth place in the standings.

“We’re very happy that we were finally able to beat a seeded team and that we are in the middle of the pack [in the standings], although it was sad that we lost another player [LA Revilla],” said La Salle head coach Gee Abanilla, referring to Archers team captain LA Revilla, who reinjured his ankle late in the first overtime and did not return to the game. Revilla’s usual minutes were again distributed to La Salle’s rookie point guards, with Thomas Torres getting 21 next to Revilla’s 26.

After establishing several double-digit leads in the first and third cantos, the Bulldogs were able to hold the Archers to 10 points in the fourth quarter, tying the game on a basket by Troy Rosario from a dish by Parks. And it would not be the last time that the game would be tied, as the teams battled for another ten minutes before the winner could be decided.

It certainly helped that Jeron Teng decided that this game would be his breakout game for the season. His final statline: 35 points on a 14-for-24 shooting clip, including four three-pointers, six rebounds, and two assists. Teng is the first Archer to break the 30-point barrier since Joseph Yeo managed the feat in 2003.

“I really wasn’t looking to score, but then LA [Revilla] was unable to attend practice for an entire week [due to his injury], and we wanted to help the team. May halong swerte na rin,” says a beaming Teng. Vosotros, meanwhile, finished with 18 points, which is spiked by four three-pointers in what is his finest performance so far this season. “This season, feel ko na di ako masyado nakakatulong sa team, pero binalik ng coaches ko yung confidence ko,” said the Albay native Vosotros, who also had four rebounds and three assists.

Backstopping Parks’ equally amazing offensive performance was Rosario, who finished with 14 points, and Emmanuel Mbe, who wound up with 12 for the Bulldogs, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

On Free Throw Shooting: “Free throw shooting has been one of our problems since the start of the season, but we do devote a lot of time to it during our practices, and I think that it’s really a mental thing, since we make most of our free throws in practice,” says Abanilla when asked about the team’s recent free throw shooting woes. “Kaya nga we keep telling the boys that they should control their minds during the game, instead of their minds controlling them.”

Notes: Since 2009, the Green Archers have ended the first round with a 4-3 win-loss slate; other players who have scored at least 30 points in recent years are Ken Bono of the Adamson Falcons, Rabeh Al-Hussaini of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, and the reigning MVP Parks; the last time that La Salle won a double overtime game was in July 2009, when they beat UST, 101-92, behind 21 points from former Archer and current Tamaraw Arvie Bringas;

Box Scores:

La Salle-87– Teng 35, Vosotros-18, Andrada-8, Van Opstal-7, Torres, N.-6, Torres, T.-5, Mendoza-4, Revilla-3, Manguera-1, Gotladera-0, Tallo-0, Webb-0

NU-86– Parks-35, Rosario-14, Mbe-12, Javillonar-6, Rono-5, Alolino-4, Villamor-3, Khobuntin-3, Singh-2, De Guzman-2, Labing-Isa-0, Betayene-0

Quarterscores: 25-14, 42-37, 59-52, 69-69, 79-79, 87-86

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  • tonichi_f

    Teng na talaga si Jerron. Finally the kind of game I want and expect to see from this kid. Animo!

  • vtee71

    Yes, We CAN! Doubt no more And please please stop this free throws comment. GOzoD JOB. Thanks. Go La Salle!

  • Erwin S

    Yesss… finally a win over a contender. Great game, no, stupendous game by Jeron. We have found our KING ARCHER!!  Animo!!!

  • moowjuang

     @vtee71 Fine! For the meantime, no mention on FREE THROWS! But later on, we have to; because it was the free throws yesterday that saved the day!!!

  • moowjuang

    Kudos to every players for a job well done! Animo La Salle! But please, don’t rest on you laurels yet! There is still the 2nd round to defend for! Again, OUTSIDE SHOTS AND FREE THROWS! Hone the 3-pt. shooting skills of Vosotros, Teng, T. Torres, and Manguera and the championship  trophy is ours to keep! ( I hope this is not wishful thinking !) ^_^

  • greenie4ever

     @vtee71 I agree! Let’s focus on the positives and hope the negatives can be overcome! Hats off to Norbert “the bear” Torres for not giving up despite his poor shooting for most of the game. His timely points and assists in the overtime periods helped keep us in the game. Kudos also to the other Torres, Tomas, for his continued improvement and timely contributions! The whole team has given a whole new meaning to the moniker, “the cardiac boys!”   

  • coolahbear

    We had BENG in ’71, now we have TENG in 2012! ANIMO!

  • ez101

    Too bad, there were many games in the first round we could have won.  Very close games, even Ateneo , it was a possible win until the last few minutes in the 4th quarter.  Still looking forward to the 2nd round.  We got a deep bench I believe we can compete.  We need to beat Ateneo and FEU, it is doable.

  • VedastoPadilla

    Good Job guys, no more place to go but up. The missing link was there and cheered, good job, keep coming. Mr. G Abanilla, they said the players win games but this time around its your pacing, positioning , substituting and play making did the works, Good Job sir.

  • VedastoPadilla

    to the individual who gave me 5pts good job to, next time can you please excuse me from your grading system. The points doesnt matter in a game its how you play the game.