There was no meltdown this time around for the DLSU Green Archers as they outlasted the UE Red Warriors in their second encounter this season, 72-64. After a heartbreaking setback to UST last Sunday, DLSU didn’t want any late game collapse anytime soon. The Green Archers once again had an early advantage to the game, leading as much as 11 at the break. But this resilient UE squad attempted some sort of a comeback as they clawed their way back into the game during the third period to make this contest an interesting one. Proving that they are a class above their opponents, La Salle pulled away in the closing stages of the final period to notch their first victory in the second round.
Like what they did in the first round against the Red Warriors, the Green Archers focused on playing their own style of game instead of trying to adjust to UE’s frenetic style of play. This led to DLSU’s reign in the rebounding department against a smaller UE squad. It was a great effort for our big men, where the trio of Jason Perkins, Larry Muyang, and Prince Rivero combined for 30 of DLSU’s 54 rebounds as compared to UE’s 40. The Green Archers were able to also limit the Red Warriors to just 31.7% eFG in this game, while shooting a decent 45% eFG.
The Green Archers actually played better when they are more defensive-oriented. They are 1-4 this season when they have registered a defensive rating of at least 90. However, they haven’t solved their turnover problems against the Red Warriors, having once again a high 30.2 TOV% in this game (they’re just at the league average at 20.2 during the season). Of course you will always have a hard time protecting the ball against UE’s full court press.
Leading the way for the Green Archers was Jeron Teng, who finished with 20 points, while Thomas Torres contributed 15 points. Also helping the Green Archers was Muyang who has played really well in the two games against the Red Warriors, who contributed 9 points and 11 rebounds. Topbilling the Red Warriors attack was big man Chris Javier who had a strong outing of 14 points and 12 rebounds. UE’s leading scorer, Edison Battiler once again had an off game, finishing with 8 points on 3-11 shooting.
This win was crucial for La Salle because it gives them more breathing space for third spot in the tight race for the Final Four, where teams from the third up until the seventh spot are only separated by two wins. While it may seem like a long shot right now, the Green Archers are still in contention for one of the two spots for the twice-to-beat advantage. Every game going into the final stretch will be crucial for all the contending teams this season. With five games left in their assignment, the Green Archers will look for any form of consistency to punch their ticket to the postseason festivities.