La Salle started the season with a sloppy, low-scoring slug fest. In its second game, the Archers got involved in a high scoring shoot-out. Fortunately, La Salle got the result that they wanted this time around. The De La Salle Green Archers bounced back after a heart-breaking opening day loss with a surprisingly high scoring 96-84 victory over the hapless and winless UP Fighting Maroons. After UP made the first two points of the game, thanks to Kyles Lao’s free throws, the boys from Taft unloaded a 14-0 blast. But the Iskolars from Diliman fought back, thanks to the efforts of Kyles Lao and former Green Archer Joseph Marata to make the first half close. It was one of those games for La Salle: they’d build an eight-point lead, then UP would rally and cut it down to four. La Salle just couldn’t pull away for the majority of the game. Fortunately, UP couldn’t sustain their rally either. Though the game was a lot closer than what the final score would indicate, La Salle was never really threatened and was in control for the whole game. La Salle led by as many as 16 points during the latter part of the fourth quarter before UP scored four points during garbage time to make the final score respectable.

La Salle

Jeron Teng bounced backed in a big way! (Photo Credits: Yahoo! Sports PH)

Reviewing Keys to the Game

Learn from the mistakes from the first game.

During the game against UST, La Salle shot horribly from rainbow territory and from the free throw line. They also committed 24 turnovers during its game last Saturday. I said La Salle should learn from these mistakes in order to win their first game of the tournament. Well, DLSU shot a very high 58% from the three-point line (7 of 12) and a whooping 81.3% from the foul line! It’s a miracle! The Archers were also able to limit their turnovers by playing a more controlled, disciplined style of basketball, one that Coach Juno Sauler has been preaching ever since he took over the head coaching job.

Do not be overconfident.

Also, a check mark for this one! La Salle started strong and never looked back. Though the Maroons were indeed the Fighting Maroons, keeping the game relatively close during the majority of the contest, DLSU played well during the entire game, unlike the previous game when DLSU played sloppy during the first three quarters and a half and just rallied towards the mid-fourth quarter. I am glad the Archers did not look ahead to the Ateneo-La Salle game this Sunday and instead concentrated on the match at hand.

Look out for the Former Lasallians.

I have mixed reactions on this one. Yes, Sam Marata scored 21 points, including five triples. But that is pretty much it for the “Lasallian-Maroons.” JR Gallarza only scored three points. Andre Paras and Andrew Harris did not even play. And Mikee Reyes reportedly left the team already. A win for the boys from Taft. It was, however, touching to see the several Lasallians in the UP camp singing the La Salle alma mater song after game, including Joseph Marata, JR Gallarza and Andre Paras, a nice moment indeed.

The Good

After a bad first game, King Archer Jeron Teng bounced back for 20 points. Better shot selection from the sophomore for this game. Jason Perkins also scored 20 points, including the Archers’ last eight points, and grabbed 13 rebounds for a monster double-double effort. The starters for the Archers all played well with Voso-tres scoring 15 points while Norbert Torres and Thomas Torres contributing 14 points a piece. Luigi De La Paz, who did not play at all the last game, got good minutes this time around and contributed seven points off the bench while AVO chipped in six points, including two monster jams. La Salle used a different rotation this time around, using only eight players, the seven players mentioned above and rookie Robert Bolick. I wonder if Coach Sauler will use this same rotation during the next games, or maybe Bolick will lose some playing time and players such as LA Revilla, Gabby Reyes and the highly recruited rookie Kim Montalbo (who has yet to play at all this season) may get some burn time.

The Bad

Allowing UP to score 84 points, including 14/18 from rainbow territory (no typo there) is not a good thing. Marata was waxing hot from the outside while Lao slashed his way to the basket countless times. La Salle should play better defensively next time around.

Next stop for the Archers? Arch rivals Ateneo in the first Ateneo-La Salle game of the year. Will Keifer Ravena play? If he does, how effective can he be? La Salle is hungry for a win against Ateneo but the Ateneans will try to avoid a 0-3 hole. So many questions will be answered this Sunday and I am sure all Ateneans, Lasallians and UAAP fans in general can’t wait for another emotionally-charged game this Sunday!