The UP Fighting Maroons nailed three shots from rainbow country in the second quarter, two by sophomore Henry Asilum and another one by Martin Pascual that sailed through the net as the halftime buzzer sounded, handing them a seven-point lead, 42-35, as both teams headed to their respective locker rooms. Things couldn’t have started any better for Rey Madrid, the new mentor of UP.
But it was a different Green Archer team that emerged from the dug-out, scrapping for rebounds, sinking most of their foul shots, and using their defense to stop the humming offense of the Maroons.
After scoring only a dozen points in the second quarter, La Salle came out blistering in the second half, outscoring the Fighting Maroons 50-21 the rest of the way to win their third straight game in the UAAP Season 76, 85-63, earlier today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The win gives the Archers a 6-4 win-loss card, which is good enough for fourth place in the standings, behind idle FEU (7-2), NU (7-3), and UE (5-3).
Jason Perkins banged in 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, 10 of them on the offensive end, to lead four Archers in double figures. Almond Vosotros scored 16 points, dished out seven of the team’s 16 assists, hauled four rebounds, and also had a couple of steals. Norbert Torres likewise turned in a double-double performance of 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Jeron Teng bucked a 3-for-10 shooting from the field by sinking six of his eight free throws to finish with 12 points, four rebounds, and a block.
UP shot a torrid 46.9% at the end of the first half, while holding La Salle to a miserable 32.4% outing from the field. By the time the final horn sounded, the Green Archers’ shot 42.4% for the game, while the Maroons cooled off in the second half to finish with a 34.3% shooting clip. Their 11-for-22 shooting from the charity stripe would also be buoyed by a strong showing at the line in the second half, as they finished the game with a 26-for-40 (65%) clip from the free throw line.
After clinging to a slim three-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Green Archers suddenly found themselves down by three, 30-27, as the Maroons opened the second canto with a 10-4 blast. Teng, Vosotros, and Torres would trade baskets with their rivals, but UP would end the quarter on another 6-1 run, giving them a seven-point cushion at the break.
But Torres would provide a spark for La Salle as they stormed out of the locker room, fuelling a quick 7-2 spurt that brought them within a basket, 42-44, barely three minutes into the third period. A trifecta by Vosotros would allow the Archers to knot the count at 46-all. There would be three more deadlocks in the quarter as the teams continued to trade baskets, until a hoop-and-harm basket by Arnold Van Opstal gave La Salle the slimmest of leads, 57-56, a lead which they will not relinquish until the end of the game.
Five points separated the two squads at the start of the payoff period, but whatever resistance the Maroons offered was crushed as La Salle began the quarter with a seven-to-nothing run in a span of a minute and a half to bring their lead to a dozen, 68-56.
Former Archer Joseph Marata would score on a floater to bring the lead back to ten, but this would prove to be a meek reply as La Salle’s blistering pace continued as they ended the game by scoring 17 more points, while only giving seven points to the Maroons.
Asilum paced State U in scoring with 18 points, Raul Soyud corralled 16 rebounds and scored 11 points, and Marata finished with 11 points for the Maroons, who remain winless in nine games.
La Salle’s defense has continued a marked improvement, as it has allowed an average of only 62.6 in their first three games of the second round, compared to 74 points in the first round, which ranked only sixth in the league.
The Next Game: The Green Archers will get a week’s rest before squaring off with their arch-rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, next Sunday, September 1, 4 p.m. at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Note: La Salle dominated the boards for the second straight game, outrebounding the Maroons 55-42; Thomas Torres, who was sidelined for the past two games with flu-like symptoms, played for four minutes and grabbed three rebounds;
DLSU-85- Perkins-19, Vosotros-16, N. Torres-16, Teng-12, Van Opstal-7, Revilla-6, Montalbo-5, Tampus-4, T. Torres-0, Salem-0
UP-63- Asilum-18, Soyud-11, Marata-11, Wong-6, Lao-6, Harris-4, Deiderio-4, Pascual-3, Suarez-0, Paras-0, Gingerich-0, Gallarza-0, Amar-0
Quarterscores: 23-20, 35-42, 61-56, 85-63