They almost had it.
The Green Archers lost to Ateneo 75-81 in overtime yesterday for their second loss in the Filoil preseason tournament. Santi Santillan led the way with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
The Blue Eagles were ahead most of the way and were up by 4 with 23 seconds left in regulation. A three pointer by Aljun Melecio and a missed free throw on the other end enabled the Green Archers to send the game to an extra period after Jollo Go converted on a layup off the inbound pass by Andrei Caracut.
The Green Archers had a brief taste of the lead in overtime at 75-73 with Go hitting a three. La Salle went scoreless from there as Ateneo’s Angelo Kouame went to work inside, scoring 8 of his 16 points top give his team the upper hand and eventually the win.
Despite the loss, the team still gave a good account themselves. With the way Ateneo has been playing in the tournament, blowing out teams by an average of around 20 plus points, the Green Archers were definitely the underdogs here. Had our bigs did not cramp up and executed better towards the end, they could have pulled off the upset. Many expected the Blue Eagles to win big in this game but such was not the case. La Salle deserves a lot of credit for their resilience.
Let us also take note that the team was without the injured Kib Montalbo. He would have made a big difference here as well as in their game against San Beda.
For the positives, the team dominated the boards especially the offensive end. Justine Baltazar continues to come into his own, finishing with another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. After being sidelined due to injury, rookie Joaqui Manuel is starting to integrate himself into the system as he started in this game and played a total of 15 minutes.
Overall, this team continues to be a work in progress and we can only expect them to be more cohesive and in much better game shape come September.
The Green Archers’ next game will be in the quarterfinals two weeks from now.
DLSU (75) – Santillan 19, Baltazar 16, Melecio 15, Go 8, Samuel 6, Caracut 4, Dyke 3, Manuel 2, Capacio 2, Lim 0, Bates 0, Manaytay 0
ADMU (81) – Ravena 17, Kouame 16, Go 10, Wong 8, Ma. Nieto 6, Mamuyac 5, Verano 5, Mi. Nieto 4, Belangel 3, Mendoza 3, White 2, Black 2, Maagdenberg 0, Asistio 0, Navarro 0, Tio 0
Quarterscores: 18-14, 34-28, 52-53, 71-71, 81-75