Displaying the team play that earned for them the championship plum last season, the DLSU Green Archers demolished the UP Fighting Maroons, 82-60, to claim their fifth straight win in six games in UAAP Season 71 Men’s Basketball at the Philsports Arena.
The defending champions limited their opponents to less than 20 points per quarter and scored 28 big points in the third canto in a game that saw all players donning the Green and White jersey entering the scoring column.
Both teams started slow in the first quarter hitting misses and committing several errors. But the Green Archers proved to be steadier and ended the quarter on top, 17-10, anchored on rookie sensation David Webb’s early 6-point explosion.
A barrage of three-pointers opened De La Salle’s offense in the 2nd quarter courtesy of a back-to-back triple from rookie Hyram Bagatsing and one from Bader Malabes that gave De La Salle a 14-point lead, 8:06 in the 2nd. With their opponents threatening to pull away, UP star player Woody Co ignited his offensive arsenal and scored 13 points, including 2 treys and breathed life to the Fighting Maroons. But De La Salle is just too much to bear for UP, as another Archer, this time veteran James Mangahas, exploded in the later part of the quarter to retain the lead for the defending champions, 37-29 at the end of the 1st half.
It was the veteran Archers’ turn to log in the points after the halftime break. While Mangahas continued to wax hot, Rico “the Kite” Maierhofer drilled in 10 points, and point guard JV Casio sank his first three point and the team’s fifth which brought back the Archer lead to 14. Following a Peejay Barua jumper, Bagatsing completed an “and 1” play in the final seconds of the quarter to give the Archers a comfortable 20-point margin
Coach Franz Pumaren capitalized on the 20 point-buffer to field in dependable role players in the final quarter. Green Archers Ferdinand, Marko Batricevic, Jovet Mendoza, Manoj Chandumal and Rejan Lee saw action in the fourth and managed to keep the Fighting Maroons at bay. Lee, dubbed “the Little Ninja” capped the offensive onslaught of La Salle with a spectacular drive towards the basket, reminiscent of former Archer and fellow Xavier high school standout Joseph Yeo, to the delight of the Green and White gallery.
“With this game, I was able to experiment on new rotation, and gave some players the exposure, which later on down the road will surely benefit us,” remarked Coach Pumaren.
Mangahas topscored for La Salle with 16 markers, spiced up by 3 rebounds, a block and a steel. Maierhofer and Bagatsing contributed 14 and 10 points respectively. For the UP cause, Co took up most of the offensive chores scoring a game high of 22 points. All the other Maroons scored in single digit.
Meanwhile, rookie LA Revilla was spotted in civilian clothes and sporting a neckbrace on the sidelines following a neck injury he suffered during the Green Archers previous game against the Adamson Falcons. The former Red Cub said he should be able to play in a week’s time, though it would be unsure if he could suit up for the Archers’ big game against UE.
DLSU 82 – Mangahas 16, Maierhofer 14, Bagatsing 10, Barua 8, Casio 7, Webb 6, Malabes 6, Lee 4, Walsham 2, Villanueva 2, Chandumal 2, Atkins 2, Mendoza 1, Ferdinand 1, Batricevic 1
UP 60 – Co 22, De Asis 9, Agbayani 8, Braganza 6, Gamboa 5, Reyes 4, Astorga2, Maniego 2, Sorongon 2, Fortu 0, Sison 0, Marfori 0, de la Victoria 0, Hipolito 0
Quarter scores: 17-10; 37-29; 65-45; 82-60