Jeron Teng received the leather from the left wing, drove strongly towards the basket, and kicked out a pass to a wide open Robert Bolick at the three-point line. Bolick rifled in the triple, and the La Salle lead swelled to 11, with roughly two and a half minutes left to play in the first.
The Green Archers were firing on all cylinders early on and couldn’t have asked for a better start in their game against the UE Red Warriors, threatening to turn a game which was billed to be a tightly-contested affair into a rout.
But for the rest of the game, they were embroiled in a slow, grind-it-out game against these Warriors, who received multiple cracks at the basket thanks to offensive rebounds, played the passing lanes to force several turnovers, and capitalized on these turnovers to finally deal the Archers their first loss of the preseason.
Relying on the endgame brilliance of Roi Sumang, who made a couple of back-breaking jumpers during the last minute, the Warriors pulled off a stunning 60-53 victory against the Green Archers earlier today at the Fil-Oil Arena. The loss dented La Salle’s erstwhile unbeaten runoff five games in Group B of the Fil-Oil Flying-V Preseason Tournament.
Turnovers proved to be the most vital game statistic, as UE forced La Salle into turning the ball over a whopping 28 times (which translated into 26 turnover points), the last of which came during the Archers’ final possession, which turned an offensive push into an unmolested lay-up for the Warriors’ Chris Javier, which all but sealed the game’s result.
Sumang finished with a dozen points along with boards and four dimes, while it was the Sierra Leone native Charles Mammie who led the Warriors in scoring with 13 points to go with nine rebounds.
Norbert Torres paced La Salle with 12 points six rebounds, and two blocks, but was held scoreless during the final quarter. Teng and Gabby Reyes netted eight points apiece for the Archers, who actually shot better than the Warriors at 38%, but attempted 19 less shots because of their opponents’ offensive rebounding.
The Warriors closed out the first canto with a 7-2 run to pull within 20-16, and took their first lead early in the second on a putback my Mammie. La Salle, however, would use their superior three-point sniping to wrest the lead and carry a slim 31-28 lead into the locker room at the turn.
Mammie, who poured in eight of his 13 in the third, allowed the Warriors to tie the game for the third time at 39-all, but UE would not take the lead until halfway through the fourth on a jumper by Sumang and a three-pointer by Jay-ar Sumido.
Teng was then promptly re-inserted in the game, and quickly made an impact with a three-point play and a split from the free-throw line to bring La Salle within two -50-52. Javier then scored off a timely pass from Sumang to put the Warriors ahead, 54-50 before Reyes hit a booming triple for the Archers to narrow the lead to a solitary point, 54-54, with time down to a little more than a minute left.
Sumang then drove strongly against Thomas Torres and netted a jumper with 53 seconds left, before making another one, this time over Reyes, with 18 ticks to go, giving the Warriors a 58-53 lead, setting the stage for the Archers’ last possession which resulted in what would their last and most costly turnover of the contest.
The Next Game: The Green Archers will be raring to get back on the winning track, and they can do so in a quick turnaround against the Letran Knights this Monday, May 27, at 3:30 p.m.
Notes: Luigi Dela Paz, who has seen limited minutes in the preseason due to a shoulder injury, played ten minutes and scored five points, including his first three-pointer of the tournament; During the second quarter, Bolick made a chasedown block on what seemed to be a breakaway lay-up for Sumang;
UE- 60– Mammie-13, Sumang-12, Sumido-9, Olivarez-8, Javier-7, Noble-4, Santos-2, Hernandez-2, Alberto-2, Flores-1, Pujante-0, Guion-0, Casajeros-0, Jumao-as-0
La Salle-53– N. Torres- 12, G. Reyes-8, Teng-8, Van Opstal-7, T.Torres-5, Dela Paz-5, Perkins-3, Bolick-3, Tampus-2, Vosotros-0, Montalbo-0, Paredes-0
Quarter scores: 16-20, 28-31, 41-41, 60-53