The Green Archers were just too big for the UST Growling Tigers and it did not help that Karim Abdul and Paolo Pe were once again hunted by foul trouble. As early as the first quarter, the two big men of the Growling Tigers had two personal fouls each. This did not only give the Twin Tower combination of Norbert Torres and Arnold Van Opstal the confidence to attack and dominate the paint but it also allowed Jeron Teng to continuously drive to the basket. All these allowed the Archers to set the tempo of the game and build up a large margin that proved to be enough to extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 3.

Abdul sandwiched by two Archers (Photo Credit: Tomasinoweb.org)

Abdul sandwiched by two Archers to make his life miserable. (Photo Credit: Tomasinoweb.org)

Jeric Teng tried his best to carry his team by pouring in 28 points to shoulder 40% of UST’s total score and to surpass his career-high score of 26 points. Unfortunately, the heroics of UST’s Teng was not enough to drag the Tigers to the promise land. The struggles of Kevin Ferrer, Aljon Mariano and Karim Abdul were just too much of a burden to the Tigers.

Review of the Keys to the Game

Shock Troopers

Among the four bench players that were fielded by Coach Pido Jarencio, only Clark Bautista and Kim Lo were able to contribute, scoring eight and two points respectively. Eduardo Daquioag, who was averaging 7.3 points this season, was unproductive in this game. Coach Jarencio had pointed out that his relievers must step up for them to close out the final series but it didn’t happen.

As a testimony to how deep the bench of the Archers are, they have the luxury to play N. Torres off the bench. Just when Abdul was already bothered by foul trouble, N. Torres came in and willingly dominated the paint, scoring and rebounding wise. His production alone was better that the combine bench production of the Tigers. His double-double output of 16 points and 10 rebounds was a far cry from eight points and 10 rebounds of the four relievers of the Tigers. Definitely an X-mark for the Tigers.

O Reb and 2nd Chance Points

A humongous 17-rebound advantage for the Archers gave them multiple possessions that resulted to an 18-6 domination in the second chance points statistic – a one-two punch that terribly damaged UST’s hope to wrap the series and bag the championship trophy.

Wrestling match like in the rebounding battle between Karim Abdul and Arnold Van Opstal (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

Wrestling match-like in the rebounding battle between Karim Abdul and Arnold Van Opstal (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

It was frustrating to see the Tigers put up a good defense only to give up second or third chances for the Archers. DLSU’s height and heft are too obvious in this match. Hopefully, the Tigers can figure out a way how to manage this. Another X-mark for the Tigers.

Mariano vs Perkins

Up until now, we are still waiting for a break-away game from Mariano and Perkins. In Game 2 of the Finals, they cancelled each other out: Mariano scoring nine points while Perkins has seven on his name. Their struggles can be attributed to the good defensive showing that they are giving each other. One good thing for La Salle is that even though Perkins is still struggling, they have four other players who scored double-digits. On the other hand, Mariano’s sub-par performance was greatly felt by the Tigers as only Teng and Abdul were able to contribute double-digit points. Half check mark for the Tigers on this one. At least, Mariano was able to limit Perkins.

Aljon Mariano drives past Norbert Torres (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

Aljon Mariano drives past Norbert Torres. (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

Final Thoughts

Scary as it is, we have to deal with this loss. All is not lost, the Tigers can still bounce back and bring the trophy to España once more. Learn and regroup, UST Growling Tigers. Win or lose, you have the whole UST Community’s support. Go all out on Saturday.