Until the last three minutes of the game, UP Fighting Maroons were playing steady basketball and managed to keep at bay with De La Salle Green Archers. And then suddenly, Jason Perkins went berserk as he blasted an 8-0 run of his own to pull away and seize a 96-84 victory for  DLSU last July 3.

Appeared to be listless, UP’s frontcourt were simply outhustled by Perkins who snatched four offensive rebounds in that run. In total, Green Archers outrebounded the Fighting Maroons, 52-33.

The Fighting Maroons were off to a sluggish start as DLSU opens the game on a 14-2 outburst. However, UP stormed back with their guns blazed, hoisting three pointers one after the other. They were able to convert 14 of the 28 threes they attempted in the game.

UP fought hard against La  Salle but their center, Soyud, needs to step up more. (Photo Credit: Bob Guerrero, Yahoo! Sports PH)

UP fought hard against La Salle but their center, Soyud, needs to step up more. (Photo Credit: Bob Guerrero, Yahoo! Sports PH)

Review of the Keys of the Game

Grow up Mikee.

It is unfortunate that UP lost him prior to the game as there are numerous reports that he quit the team. But he is saying otherwise. Henry Asilum took his starting place and delivered 12 points, all of which are from the three-point area. However, he had a solitary assist and committed four turnovers. And that’s a concern considering he’s now the primary playmaker of this team. If we have seen the last of Mikee as a Fighting Maroon, we’ll definitely miss his ability to dish the ball to the open man as well as his ability to score in bunches, even though he tends to go wild and play out of the system sometimes.

Get them to the line.

DLSU went 13-16. Yes, you’re reading it right. Yes, I am not mistyping the numbers. They made their free throws! This was really far from their 9-19 performance at the line versus UST.  This event has to be in the books because it is as rare as the appearance of Halley’s Comet. UP just can’t help but to witness this atypical performance.

Give Marata support.

Marata played like he had something to prove against his former team and finished with a game-high and career-high 21 points. But on his way to producing that number, he made his best impersonation of Almond Vosotros (who surprisingly took only four three-point attempts, converting three of them) as he took most of his 12 three-point attempts that are contested and early on the shot clock.

It is pleasant to know that the rest of the team stepped up. Kyles Lao was on the attack mode early and finished with 18. Asilum was knocking down threes. But the player who made an enthralling statement was rookie Kyle Suarez. In his brief eight-minute stint in the court, he continuously attacked towards the basket to finish with nine points. He was relentless at both ends. He has the lateral quickness to defend the guards from opposing teams. Do not be surprised if he gets more playing time in the next game.

Key Matchup

Raul Soyud vs Norbert Torres

The battle of the interns of Extra Rice, Inc. was simply one-sided. Torres got the upper hand and dominated the inside as he walked away with 14 points and 17 rebounds (9 offensive). Soyud struggled on both sides as he finished with five points on 2-9 shooting and three boards.

Final Thoughts

The balanced attack of DLSU proved to be too much to handle. The starting five of the Green Archers poured in a staggering 83 points. They are the deepest team in the UAAP today, and rightfully so, everyone was capable of producing.

It is good to know that UP has able to keep at par with them for most of the game.  However, it is not every day that they’ll be knocking down 14 three-pointers in a game. They have to execute their plays. They cannot afford to hand the ball to Marata every possession. They cannot afford Marata jacking up threes loosely.

They also have to address the problem of rebounding. The frontcourt was pounded in the two games in this season. You cannot win a game when your starting center managed to clobber three rebounds only.

Coach Ricky Dandan is still figuring out UP’s rotation. He has to continue his experiments especially in the frontcourt. It is pleasant to see that the rookies like Lao and Suarez were given playing time. And what’s better is that they are putting on good performances.