What started as a low scoring and sloppy affair, ended as another DLSU-UST thriller.

UST avoided a meltdown as it defeated the DLSU Green Archers, 63-58 in overtime, in the main event of the opening day of the UAAP Season 76. They started their respective preseason campaigns against one another, with DLSU taking that game. They did the same here in the UAAP, but this time, UST got the win that really matters.

Proving that the preseason doesn’t really count for much, UST started strong and controlled the tempo of the game all night long. A lot of the so-called experts and fans said that UST might miss the Final 4 this year, but the Tigers showed everyone that last year’s finals appearance and PCCL National title are no flukes, and that they are here to compete for a playoff spot this season.

It was one of those games when UST had a six to eight point lead for most of the game, but it felt like an insurmountable lead since DLSU was playing so sloppy throughout the game. UST led by as many as thirteen points, and even led by eleven points during the early parts of the fourth quarter. But, towards the end of the game, La Salle showed a lot of heart and battled back. Thanks to the heroics of veteran leader LA Revilla, timely threes from Vosotros and clutch shooting by rookie Jason Perkins, the Green Archers tied the game and forced the extra period. However, in the overtime session, DLSU struggled as they only scored seven points. They got hampered by their turnovers, poor three-point shooting and as usual, dismal free throw shooting.

Tengminator over Tengsanity for Round 1. (Photo Credit: Go Archers, Joseph Nebrida)

Review of the Keys to the Game

  1. Exploit the Point Guard Weakness of UST. La Salle was able to hound the UST point guards all game long, but it was defending the other positions that cost them the game. Jeric Teng and Karim Abdul scored 23 and 17 points respectively. In terms of point guards, Clark Bautista, the natural shooting guard being “forced” to play point guard, only scored six points and Daquioag only scored 2 points.
  2. Limit Jeric Teng. The DLSU defense allowed Jeric Teng to explode for 23 big points! I think Jeric wants to prove that he is better than his brother and he wants to be mentioned on the same breath as Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks, especially that this is his last year. He would need a big year to improve his draft stock in the pros. Vosotros and his brother Jeron guarded Jeric, or should I say, tried to guard him. Jeric showcased a lot of moves and he easily scored from all areas of the court.
  3. Free throws. Do I really have to talk about this one? DLSU shot a horrible 9/19 from the charity stripe. There are no words.

Positives

At least, Jason “Not Kendrick/Sam” Perkins made an impact in his first game. He connected on several smooth looking mid-range jumpers and he showed that he is a big guy with a soft lefty touch down low. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds and was one of the bright spots for the white and green.

Negatives

Turnovers, poor three-point shooting and FREE THROWS. Jeron Teng struggled all throughout the game. He scored only 10 points, only shot 5/12 from the field, committed six turnovers, and fouled out during the later part of the fourth quarter. He obviously can play better than this and I look for him to bounce back in the next game.

Final Thoughts

Next stop for DLSU is UP, and almost everyone is saying that the UP game is the only “almost sure win” game for the other UAAP schools, but upsets can happen. DLSU must not look passed the Maroons as they cannot afford to start the season 0-2. A date with rivals Ateneo is set next Sunday and a win against UP is imperative for confidence of the Archers.