The De La Salle Green Archers grew right in front of our eyes, scratching out a double overtime victory against University of Santo Tomas, 101-92, on August 2 at the Araneta Coliseum for their fourth consecutive victory in UAAP men’s basketball.
Peejay Barua scored his only points in the two overtime periods, his first three sending the game into another extension and his other three starting it. However, rookie Arvie Bringas showed the stuff he was made of, scoring 13 of his game-high 21 points from the fourth quarter and beyond.
”They forgot a player named Peejay Barua,” Archers head coach Franz Pumaren said. “This is the breakout game of Arvie Bringas.”
Bringas shot 7/10 from the field including a three-pointer to end the third period along with eight rebounds. James Mangahas missed a double-double with 18 points and nine boards.
Other double digit scorers include Kish Co with 13 points and seven caroms, Joshua Webb with ten on 4/4 two-point field goal shooting, and Bader Malabes with ten, five rebounds and seven assists.
Also registering seven feeds is Hyram Bagatsing while inputting nine points, three rebounds, and two steals.
“There was no need to panic. We were able to hang tough,” Pumaren said on the Archers’ surge after a slow start in the season. “We did not run away from what we were doing.”
The 0-2 start seems to be a distant memory with the way the Taft-based squad is racking up wins the past two weeks, now at solo third behind league leaders Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University.
Dylan Ababou led six other Tigers in double figures with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
UST dropped to 3-2 along with University of the East in fourth.
“Before the game, we were talking with Br. Bernie Oca that we are going to dedicate this game (to former President Corazon Aquino),” Pumaren stated. “She has a very special place in our hearts.”
Playing in front of a sizeable crowd gave it a playoff-like flavour as the two sides went tit-for-tat until a 14-6 first half finish gave the Tigers an eight-point lead, 45-37.
One thing noticeable that Santo Tomas employed to counter the Archers’ press defense were outlet passes that most of the time were foiled and interecepted. The counterpoints was that the green and white crew were badly outrebounded in the first 20 minutes of play, 11-23.
“We were down because of our own wrongdoings,” Pumaren told his players during the halftime break. “They shot well because we allowed them.”
The España-based team found a way to beat the press and at the same time found its guns blazing as Jeric Fortuna’s triple to beat the shot clock buzzer 6:48 in the third quarter provided his squad a 16-point gap, 56-40. The highest it got was 17 from two Allein Maliksi freethrows off a Maui Villanueva personal foul, 60-43, 5:45 to go.
Maliksi’s midrange fadeaway pull up with 3:49 left assured that this is the highest output so far by any opponent this season with the score pegged at 66-50.
After Bringas ended the quarter with a rare three-pointer, he followed this up by scoring the first seven points of the Archers in the fourth to jumpstart the comeback. Bagatsing followed suit orchestrating his own 7-0 run to tie the count at 74-all, 5:52 in the clock.
With USTe holding a four-point margin going into the final minute and a half, Bringas converted a reverse layup, 1:05 to go. Co then scored on a putback off a Mangahas miss to tie the game, 82-all, :27.7 remaining.
With Ababou’s attempt falling short and Santo Tomas getting called for a 24-second shot clock violation, the Archers had exactly three seconds to devise a win in regulation but Mangahas’ jumper from the top of the key hit the front end of the rim.
De La Salle could have had more breathing space in the first extra time if not for clunked freebies. Leading by three, going into the two-minute warning, the Tigers breezed with a 6-0 run to go ahead, 90-87, :26.1, capped by Fortuna’s freethrows.
With still a chance to tie the game, Barua was sent in with a purpose. Bagatsing found him at the other end of the wing, lobbed a crosscourt pass, and the veteran sank a three-point bucket with :05.5 remaining. Barua then had another booming three off an inbounds play, nine seconds elapsed in the final extension.
UST started shooting blanks, scoring only a field goal in the last five minutes as Simon Atkins closed the door with two charities off Teng’s fifth foul, 99-92, 2:37 to go.
DLSU shot 47% from the field but was horrendous at the stripe, 25/45. Hustle board stats include 22 assists, 15 second chance points, and 26 turnover points, all in favour of De La Salle.
De La Salle 101 – Bringas 21, Mangahas 18, Co 13, Webb 10, Malabes 10, Villanueva 9, Bagatsing 9, Barua 6, Atkins 2, Andrada 2, Mendoza 1, Tolentino 0, Marata 0, Ferdinand 0.
Santo Tomas 92 – Ababou 19, Teng 18, Mirza 12, Camus 11, Maliksi 10, Fortuna 10, Bautista 6, Afuang 6, Mariano 0, Green 0, Aytona 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 37-45, 60-72, 82-82, 90-90, 101-92.