La Salle survives to fight another day as they defeated the UST Growling Tigers, 77-70, in Game 2 of the best-of-three Finals, forcing a Game 3 in front of 23,000-strong crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Contrary to Game 1 where La Salle started with championship jitters, a different La Salle team showed up last Saturday afternoon. It was the La Salle team that dominated the second round all the way to the Final Four. The Archers controlled the game from start to finish and posted several double-digit leads all throughout the contest. When UST cut the lead down to just one point during the third quarter, the Archers already knew what to do and unloaded a huge run to build another double-digit lead. It was like most of the second round games of the Archers wherein they build a huge lead then their opponents would make a rally but La Salle already knows what to do in order to pull away from the opponent and onto the win.

One win away from Greatness! (Photo Credit: Ryan Ong/ Go Archers)

One win away from Greatness! (Photo Credit: Ryan Ong, Go Archers)

Review of the Keys to the Game

Start strong

A huge check mark for this one! La Salle started the game strong and never looked back. They ended the first quarter with a 21-12 lead and led most of the second quarter by double-digits. UST would make one final push during the late fourth quarter to make the final score respectable, but La Salle controlled the game from start to finish.

Norbert Torres should step up

Another huge check mark for DLSU! Norbert Torres went “Grizzly Bear” mode as one-half of La Salle’s dreaded “Twin Towers Combo” scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds (seven of them on the offensive side) and had three blocks as well.

Free Throws

An X mark for this one as La Salle only made 15 of their 24 free throw attempts. Jeron Teng struggled once again as he made only 3/9 from the line. Let’s see if La Salle can win the title with a below par free throw shooting in the coming Game 3.

The Great

Rebounding! La Salle outrebounded UST, 57-39. They also controlled the offensive rebounding department, 27-10. We know that offensive rebounds leads to second chance points opportunities and La Salle made 18 big second chance points compared to only six from UST. Height is might and La Salle pounded the ball inside and put several Tigers in foul trouble. If La Salle can continue to dominate the glass, then we won’t be treated to a classic Game 3 this Saturday, the Archers can flat-out dominate Game 3!

The Good

Jeron Teng topscored for the Archers with 19 points, making sure that his Kuya Jeric would have another game. He did not jack up a single three-point attempt and had shot a good 8/19 from the field as he took the ball strong to the basket. Arnold Van Opstal had a huge double-double performance of 13 points and 14 rebounds while Norbert Torres also had a double-double performance of 16 points and 10 rebounds. La Salle also did a good job of limiting Game 1 hero Kevin Ferrer as he only scored six points.

The Bad

Once again, La Salle shot horribly from the line, making just 15 of 24. If they want to dominate UST this Saturday, they needs to make their free throws and dominate the boards. Jeric Teng exploded for 28 big points – he is the only bright spot for the Tigers. Karim Abdul had a quiet  13 points while Aljon Mariano chipped in nine points but that’s pretty much it for Team España. Jeric Teng needs help or else, La Salle will dominate UST this Saturday.

Final Thoughts

This is it folks! This is one of the most exciting UAAP season in a long time and it is only fitting that we reach a deciding Game 3. Can Jeric Teng finish his college career on a high note? Or will Jeron Teng start a new La Salle dynasty?