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'Surprised' La Salle rallies to cream UE in OT

By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 4th 2013

Jason Perkins powered De La Salle University to its fifth straight win for a share of second place.

Surprise them, but you won't beat them.

De La Salle University spoiled the surprise return of Charles Mammie to foil University of the East, 75-65, in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Unable to prepare for the hulking big man from Sierra Leone, the Green Archers relied on hefty big man Jason Perkins to deliver the goods for the Taft-based squad.

"It was very difficult," admitted coach Juno Sauler. "The game plan coming into today was based on the personnel who we were expecting to play. All of a sudden, an hour before, we had to change our mindset."

Fortunately for Sauler, his La Salle wards were quick to adjust, especially in overtime when they outscored the Red Warriors, 19-9, to book their fifth straight win.

"I have to hand it to the players," the coach added. "Given the amount of time that we had to talk about it inside the locker room, they were able to pull it off."

Sauler singled out Perkins, who came up big as frontcourt-mates Arnold van Opstal and Norbert Torres played below par.

"He played very big," the mentor said. "He hit the big shots in the end."

True enough, Perkins drilled a tough 15-footer with 10.9 seconds left that gave the Archers their first lead of the game at 56-55.

But a clueless Torres fouled Roi Sumang in the ensuing play, handing UE a chance to snatch the win if the guard makes both free-throws.

Sumang, though, could only split his charities with 4.7 seconds left and the Archers could not launch a decent shot as time expired.

It was a different story in overtime, however, as La Salle went on a 13-4 tear to take a 69-60 advantage with only 47 seconds remaining.

The Archers made all six of their field-goal attempts in overtime, with Jeron Teng putting the nail on the coffin for the Warriors with nine points in the period.

Perkins set a career-high with 22 points on perfect shooting from rainbow territory while also grabbing nine rebounds and two blocks for La Salle, which climbed to second with an 8-4 card.

Teng added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Almond Vosotros torched UE early to finish with 16 points, five boards and two steals.

On the other hand, Sumang battled a gimpy knee to post 17 points but just shot five of 17 even as JM Noble submitted his best game of the season with 17 markers.

Mammie, whose return was announced just an hour before the game, dominated early but struggled in the last 25 minutes to post 11 points on three of 14 shooting and 20 rebounds.

The scores:

DLSU (75) - Perkins 22, Teng 17, Vosotros 16, Van Opstal 9, T. Torres 6, Revilla 3, N. Torres 2, Salem 0, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0, Dela Paz 0

UE (65) - Sumang 17, Noble 17, Jumao-as 13, Mammie 11, Sumido 2, Javier 2, Casajeros 2, Alberto 1, Olayon 0, Santos 0, Pujante 0, Hernandez 0, Guion 0, Flores 0

Quarters: 14-21, 30-35, 41-45, 56-56, 75-65