Unable to execute down the stretch, the Green Archers suffered their first loss in the FilOil tournament against San Beda with a score of 70-72 last night.
Andrei Caracut led La Salle with 20 points while Taane Samuel and Justine Baltazar each contributing 13.
Trailing by 7 at the half, the team tightened up their defense as they manage to tie the contest entering the final period. It continued to be a nip-and-tuck affair as the Green Archers were unable to capitalize on their opportunities to pull away. Turnovers, miscommunication on defense and missed free throws enabled the Red Lions to seize control of the lead towards the latter part of the game.
A putback by Samuel tied the match once more at 68-all with 48 seconds remaining but his accidental foul on San Beda’s JV Mocon while taking a three-point shot in the ensuing play proved to be the turning point in the game. The Green Archers were unable to make decent attempt at an equalizer as the Red Lion’s made the right stops to seal the win.
This loss was definitely a good learning experience for the team. With most of their wins coming against relatively average teams, this game against the defending NCAA champions exposed a lot of areas that they still need to improve on. San Beda was simply aggressive on both ends as they did a good job limiting Aljun Melecion to just 8 points after scoring 25 in the previous game against Mapua. Even Samuel struggled with the physicality and this is something that he needs to get adjusted with.
The plus side here is that Caracut was able to get his offensive game going and we need to see him do this more consistently. Justine Baltazar continues to show remarkable improvement, displaying an array of post moves and being able to score in the perimeter as well.
But perhaps the most intriguing was the solid performance of rookie Donn Lim. Shows good composure and in the past several games has proven to be a steady presence at the point. He finished with 6 points, which were all from beyond the arc to go along with 2 assists.
Despite the loss, the Green Archers remain in solo second in Group A with a 6-1 record with two more games left in the elimination round. They face NU this coming Sunday then Ateneo on the 12th. Top 4 teams in both groups will advance to the quarterfinals.
DLSU 70 – Caracut 20, Samuel 13, Baltazar 13, Melecio 8, Santillan 6, Lim 6, Manaytay 2, Corteza 2, Go 0, Bates 0, Tolentino 0, Capacio 0, Dyke 0, Manuel 0
SBU 72 – Mocon 20, Tankoua 9, Toba 8, Carino 8, Nelle 7, Tongco 6, Bolick 4, Soberano4, Presbitero 2, Bahio 2, Cuntapay 2, Doliguez 0, Abuda 0, Cabanag 0
Quarterscores: 14-16, 37-30, 55-55, 72-70