It was supposed to be a close game.
There were words thrown, well at least reportedly, putting the loss of UST once more in a bad light. They just can’t seem to get it right, no?
But that’s beside it, De La Salle thumped the Tigers good and there’s no one Karim Abdul could rip apart (well if you count another Kevin Ferrer no-show, then…). Outside the Aljon Mariano factor, I think La Salle held up pretty well. Teng (22pts, 16 shots, 6 rebs, 5ast) and Jason Perkins (15pts, 8 shots, 9rebs) pretty much led the way for the injury-riddled Green Archers who lost Norbert Torres along the way and Kib Montalbo on a calf tear (now is not the time for Kib Montalbo jokes, Pio).
They also have to thank that the ballyhooed rookies like Prince Rivero and Julian Sargent who broke open what was a close game in the fourth quarter. Sargent was sterling, needing only four shots to get to double digits while Rivero put in a man-worthy 12pt-8-reb outing. It does matter though when Robert “The Bull” Bolick made a couple of chamba shots. You know you got it in the bag.
PUSHING ABDUL OUT
The UST big man was just uncharacteristically out of whack. And we can also blame coach Bong Dela Cruz from deviating calling plays for Abdul who had rookies on his back most of the game. For crying out loud coach, Abu Tratter and Prince Rivero are no Severino Baclaos who lock down the paint. They are rookies!
The rookies, and Sauler by extension, were lucky to have Bong Dela Cruz on the opposite side.
LET KEVIN FERRER CHUCK?
Kevin Ferrer was just god-awful and please, don’t use the ankle injury excuse. That kind of disses Kiefer Ravena who did not use that to blame a lost season. Against Ateneo, the former UAAP Juniors MVP shot 1-for-11 for three measly points. Against the Archers, it was 3-for-11 for 11 points. Que horror!
He was supposed to be a star but well, we can say that he has been a ghost and a fading star at that for the Growling Tigers. He took away shots from Abdul by chucking away to make Roider Cabrera proud. How do you turn this around? Jeron Teng wasn’t even gassed to defend you.
WHO GETS ALJON MARIANO?
Mariano once again played like a possessed man. Clearly, La Salle had no one to match up with Mariano as the captain pumped in 20 points on 17 shots and grabbed four boards to boot. He beat La Salle many times off the bounce and sometimes on nifty pull ups. It’s safe to say Mariano is back but until UST can screw their heads straight, they’ll stay in the lower half of the ladder.
I did say close, but Jeron Teng and Hefty Lefty dashed all hopes of that. La Salle is on a season-high and league-leading five-game win streak. They may be down to nine men but they haven’t peaked yet. Yikes.