The Mammie returned… but it didn’t matter!
La Salle survived a sloppy start as the Green Archers defeated the UE Red Warriors in overtime, 75-65. UE pretty much had the lead from the first to the third quarter but it was a close game all through out. Both teams understood the Final Four implications of this contest.
The first quarter ended with a 21-14 UE lead. La Salle fans were still on a high from winning the rivalry game against Ateneo. They were also still very emotional with the post-game melee that ensued after that, but they quickly realized that another battle was on their hands.
UE led by as many as 10 points during the second quarter. But just like the La Salle-Ateneo game, La Salle finished the quarter strong as the first half ended with a slim 35-30 lead for the Red Warriors. The third quarter was a defensive affair with both squads failing to pull away as the third quarter ended with a 45-41 lead for UE. It was setting up to be another classic fourth quarter.
With UE up 55-54, La Salle super rookie, Jason Perkins, nailed a tough mid range jump shot to give the Archers the lead. 56-55. The La Salle crowd thought they had already won, but then, veteran Norbert Torres had a mental breakdown as he intentionally fouled Roi Sumang. The Bear obviously thought that DLSU had a foul to give, but DLSU was already in the penalty. Fortunately for La Salle, Super Sumang missed one of his free throws. Jeron Teng’s last second shot hit the iron to set up La Salle’s fourth overtime game of the year.
La Salle took control of the overtime as it nailed all six field goal attempts and made five clutch free throws to pull away for a 75-65 win. La Salle is now on a five game winning streak and tied with idle FEU for second place. A win against NU this Sunday can leapfrog La Salle to a tie for first place! UE dropped to 5-6, and the pre-season champions will need a miracle to make it to the Final Four.
Reviewing the keys to the game
Limit Roi Sumang
A check mark for this one, yes, that was no typo, a check mark! Though Sumang scored 17 points, he struggled from the field making just 5/17, including 0/3 from beyond the arc. He also missed two clutch free throws during the fourth quarter, including one that could have given them the victory.
Thomas Torres did a good job in defending Sumang during the second half as Sumang struggled with his shooting. Sumang would’ve scored a lot less if it wasn’t for the following: obvious non-calls during his several traveling violations, the several superstar calls that he got which led to a 7/10 free throw shooting, and of course, the phantom foul called on Thomas Torres during crunch time which led to three free throw attempts.
Pound the ball inside
I wrote this during my pre-game under the assumption that Charles Mammie won’t play. But of course, the ever reliable and very fair UAAP board decided to reduce the suspension of Mammie and make him available to play for the La Salle game. Mammie scored 11 points but he struggled from the field, making just 3/14, though he grabbed 20 big rebounds including 10 huge offensive rebounds!
Among the three big guys of La Salle, it was Jason Perkins who shined once again. He scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Although he did not really pound the ball inside as he made 3/3 three point shots. He also made several mid range jumpers as well including the clutch basket that gave La Salle the lead during the dying seconds of the fourth quarter. Arnold Van Opstal had an “OK” game, as he scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds, but I know that he can do more. Norbert Torres was missing in action as usual, as he only scored two points and of course his mental lapse during the last few seconds of the fourth quarter that almost caused La Salle the game. I am hoping for better games from the twin towers in the next games of La Salle.
Get over the big win over Ateneo
La Salle started flat during the first quarter. It seemed that the Archers were still on an emotional high after the big rivalry victory. But even though UE controlled the game for most of the first three quarters, the Archers fought back and kept the game close. This game showed the emotional and mental maturity of the Green Archers.
Jason Perkins had a huge game with 22 points and nine rebounds. He showed that he could play from the inside and the outside as he nailed all three of his three point shots and made several mid range jumpers. Almond Vosotros scored 16 points including four triples “Vosotres” style. Jeron Teng scored 17 points, nine in the overtime period, making several clutch free throws when UE tried a “hack-a-Jeron” during the overtime period. Thomas Torres should also be commended for his great defense against Roi Sumang.
The officiating! How bad was it? The Ateneans on my twitter timeline complained about it. When Ateneans think that a La Salle team is on the wrong end of the officiating stick, then it must be true! I felt like I was watching the AND 1 Mix tape tour as the referees refused to call travelling on Roi Sumang. I said that Sumang plays like a street ball legend, but I did not expect that the referees would allow him to just walk the whole game. Sumang also received several superstar calls, the type of calls that Ravena usually gets! I don’t get it why the referees won’t give the Teng brothers the superstar calls that they also deserve. I honestly thought the fans would just storm the court after that phantom foul against Thomas Torres which led to three free throw attempts by Sumang during crunch time. I am so proud that La Salle still won the game even though the officiating was horrible!
After a slow start, La Salle is now peaking at the right time. Next stop is the equally hot, equally talented and equally deep NU Bulldogs. La Salle should play it’s A-game, and hope for fair officiating, to have a chance against the Mighty Bulldogs!