Recap: UST nips gritty Adamson sans Abdul's inside presence
Posted Aug 16th 2014
By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 27th 2014
University of the East gave De La Salle University all it can handle.
Once the Green Archers got a grip of things, they threw down the gauntlet right back at the Red Warriors.
The reigning champs endured a horrific turnover night, but came out victorious, 60-58, in an epic 77th UAAP men's basketball battle before a wild Sunday crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Falling to the suffocating UE press, La Salle chased the Warriors most of the night, before Jeron Teng, Norbert Torres, and rookie Prince Rivero came through when the going got tough.
A stoic coach Juno Sauler said the Archers are fortunate to have survived the game with a W.
"We're lucky to pull this through with 36 turnovers," the second-year coach said of his wards who came a bit close to equaling the most turnovers in recorded UAAP history.
But like in their gut-it-out win over National University, Sauler leaned on La Salle's ferocious defense to even their record at 2-2.
"They defended very well in the fourth," he added. "I think we just gave up 12 points."
The Archers, who gave up 89 points in their first two games, held a foe to 12 markers in the fourth quarter for the second straight match and banked on clutch baskets by their big men to win.
A basket by Gino Jumao-as pushed the Warriors lead to 50-41 early in the fourth period, before Torres and Teng teamed up in an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 50-49, with 6:09 left.
Charles Mammie and the Archers traded baskets, before a Teng lay-in pushed the Taft cagers to their biggest lead in the final canto, 58-54, with 1:28 remaining on the clock.
Roi Sumang attacked the basket for two points to make it 58-56, but Rivero converted a nifty pass by Teng that gave La Salle insurance at 60-56, with just 44.1 seconds ticking.
Sumang sank two free-throws to bring UE to within two anew, but the cat-quick guard muffed a last-second shot attempt, as the Warriors suffered their first loss of the tournament.
Atrocious long-range shooting continued for the Archers, as they are now shooting 1/27 from three-point land in their last two outings. But La Salle was wise to choose to pound it inside, where they made 51% of their shots and scored 32 points.
Meanwhile, the Recto five could not capitalize on the Archers' plethora of turnovers, scoring just 19 points off miscues while making only 31% of their attempts.
Teng led all scorers with 18 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks, while Torres had his best game this season with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists.
Jason Perkins, who led La Salle in their first three games, could only muster two points before fouling out.
Sauler admitted that he expected the Warriors to press hard, but even their preparations proved to be futile against UE's pesky defense.
"We knew that they were going to press," he said. "We tried to focus on it in practice. Apparently, we didn't do a good job against their press."
Sumang had 16 points for the Warriors, but made only five of 19 tries as no other UE player finished in double figures.
DLSU (60) — Teng 18, Torres 14, Vosotros 12, Rivero 8, Van Opstal 5, Perkins 2, Tratter 1, Montalbo 0, Andrada 0, Bolick 0
UE (58) — Sumang 16, Varilla 8, Mammie 8, Olayon 7, Galanza 5, Jumao-as 4, Alberto 4, Arafat 3, Javier 2, De Leon 1
Quarters: 12-14, 26-28, 36-46, 60-58