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La Salle battles UP for 3rd win in row

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Aug 24th 2013

The Archers eye their third straight win against the hard-luck Maroons who will parade returning coach Rey Madrid in the 2 p.m. opener.

De La Salle University looks to keep its hot second round campaign going today as the streaking Archers face newly mentored University of the Philippines (UP) in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Archers eye their third straight win against the hard-luck Maroons who will parade returning coach Rey Madrid in the 2 p.m. opener.

La Salle is coming off a huge 74-66 victory against erstwhile undefeated Far Eastern University last August 18 to grab solo third place at 5-4 behind the Tamaraws (7-2) and National University (6-3).

UP on the other hand absorbed its eight straight loss, bowing to defending  champion Ateneo de Manila University, 59-67, with resigned coach Ricky Dandan still at the helm last August 15.

Madrid, who replaced Dandan in a whirlwind decision by the UP administration, missed his Season 76 debut as coach last Wednesday after the Maroons’ grudge match with University of the East was cancelled due to heavy rains and flooding in the metropolis.

Despite outlasting the league-leading Tamaraws, La Salle coach Juno Sauler remains unimpressed.

“I am not satisfied. We had more turnovers than assists. We still have to do a good job all throughout the 40 minutes,” he said, pointing at the Archers' 12 to 17 assists to turnover ratio against the Tamaraws.

Sauler also rued La Salle’s woeful freethrow shooting with the Archers just converting 14 of 33 trips on the line for a measly 42.4 percent clip.

“We still have a lot of things to improve on. We're trying to really improve our defense because it sucked in the first round."

On a bright note, the Archers hauled down 59 rebounds, exploiting their size advantage to the hilt over the relatively thinner FEU frontline.

Jason Perkins typified La Salle’s inside might, chalking up 18 points and 13 rebounds. Jeron Teng backed him up with 16 markers and nine boards. Almond Vosotros also chipped in 13 points and five rebounds.

Perkins, Teng, Vosotros, and Arnold Van Opstal among others are expected to give a lot of problems to the Maroons, whom they beat, 96-84, in the first round.

The Maroons for their part has since owned the cellar but Madrid doesn’t see the need to overhaul the system just yet.

“We will just make little adjustments but basically we will run the same patterns,” said Madrid, who tapped former pro Poch Juinio and Ramil Cruz as assistants.

Ex-Archer Sam Marata is again tipped to lead the Maroons against his former team alongside Raul Soyud, Chris Ball, Henry Asilum, and rookie Kyles Lao.

 The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay tonight at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.