The DLSU Green Archers ended their three-game skid to improve their Final Four chances as they defeated the UP Fighting Maroons, 72-68. There’s no question, they needed this win badly to book the fourth and final ticket in the Final Four bus. With their struggles recently, and NU suddenly finding their groove, they desperately sought any ways to win, even contesting a UP’s jersey mishap midway through the third quarter.
Just like in their previous games, the Green Archers went off to a great start as they unleashed a 19-6 run in the opening quarter. But then they suddenly had a series of bad shot selections, turnovers, and defensive lapses which led to a UP rally that cut their lead to one at the half. The Fighting Maroons continued their momentum towards the second half, leading as much as six points, 60-54. But the Green Archers would not allow UP to go away with the win as they mounted a 15-0 run in order to take the lead and seal the deal for them.
In this game, DLSU were able to hold UP to just 34.67% eFG by aggressively contesting a lot of their outside shots and driving lanes. The Green Archers were also forceful going to the free throw line as they registered a high 46.4% while limiting the Fighting Maroons to just 21.3%, which is way below what they gave up against Ateneo. Also, they managed to capitalize on UP’s turnovers, leading to 18 points off it. However, a series of turnovers for La Salle, which had a 20.5% TOV rate, enabled UP to roar back from the game.
The Green Archers were led by sophomore Prince Rivero as he delivered another outstanding performance with 18 points and 16 rebounds. He was able to carve his way against a thin UP frontcourt. Jeron Teng led all scorers with 20 points, after just 11 points in their last outing. Thomas Torres, who was widely criticized for his play against Ateneo, had a bounce back game, finishing with a double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds). For the Fighting Maroons, they were led by the duo of Jett Manuel and Dave Moralde with 15 points and 14 points respectively.
While DLSU didn’t really play its best basketball against UP, they were finally able to win the fourth quarter (23-16), and hold off their opponent. While it wasn’t really the prettiest of games the Green Archers could have played, pretty sure they’re glad to take the monkey off their backs now that their victory drought is over. They have a week to prepare against a strong FEU Tamaraws for their last elimination game. Whether the NU Bulldogs win or lose their next assignment, the game against the Tamaraws will be very crucial for the Green Archers nonetheless. Their final game will show how much they want to extend their season. While defeating a strong FEU team will be a daunting task, it will not be an impossible one for the Green Archers.