#AniMochi – Green Archers rally past Ateneo for sweet comeback win

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Luigi dela Paz

The last time the Green Archers lorded it over the Ateneo Blue Eagles was back in July 24, 2010, when former Archer Joseph Marata rifled in two triples in the final two minutes to swing the lead in La Salle’s favor. Simon Atkins made a split at the free throw line to peg the final count. Back then, the MOA Arena was still under construction, the Lakers and the Celtics had just finished a gruelling seven-game Finals series, and Jeron Teng was a Xavier Stallion, two years before he scored 104 points in a high school game.

The only players left in that line-up who still played for the Archers were Almond Vosotros, Luigi Dela Paz, Oda Tampus, LA Revilla, and Yutien Andrada, although the last three did not see action in the game earlier today. Vosotros and Dela Paz, however, did suit up for the Green-and-White, and they, along with the rest of the younger crop of Archers, strove and strove hard to erase the memories of these defeats, both barnburners and routs, against their arch-rivals.

After an anemic first half, the Green Archers used their defense to stop the humming Ateneo offense dead in its tracks, then erected a slim lead for most of the payoff period and held on to finally beat the Blue Eagles, 82-73, earlier today at the MOA Arena.

Vosotros, who has markedly improved his shot selection since hoisting fifteen triples a week ago against the Growling Tigers, scored 19 for La Salle, and added nine boards and an assist. Arnold Van Opstal banged in a career-high 18 points and added eight rebounds and two assists for the Archers, who trailed 40-28 after a shaky first half that saw Ateneo’s Chris Newsome pour in 18 markers, eventually finishing with a game-high 27.

Jeron Teng, despite shooting 6-for-16 from the field and 1-for-7 from the line, turned in a double-double performance of 13 points and 10 rebounds while also dishing five assists. Dela Paz, who was sidelined for most of last year and the preseason due to an injury, added 10 points.

After a first quarter that saw the Eagles lead by as much as ten at 20-10, La Salle slowly inched their way back into the contest, coming to within a basket, 22-20, early in the second. But Ateneo uncorked a 15-4 run that allowed them to establish the game’s biggest lead at 38-24, after two charities by Von Pessumal.

A couple of buckets by Teng brought the lead back down to ten, but Newsome swooped in for another lay-up with five ticks left to bring the Ateneo lead back up to 40-28, sending the Green-clad gallery of fans into an uneasy intermission.

All those fears, however, were quickly assuaged as the Green Archers stormed out of the locker room by scoring six quick points to start the third period. Baskets by Ryan Buenafe, Newsome, Pessumal, and JP Erram stemmed the flow of the tide momentarily for the Blue Eagles, but after a triple by Vosotros with 5:31 left, the dam had burst open, and La Salle launched a 15-2 blitz of their own in a span of about three minutes to finally knot the count at 50, with 2:03 left in the period.

Juami Tiongson scored a basket to bring the lead back to Ateneo, but it proved to be the last time they would be in the driver’s seat as Van Opstal scored and completed and and-one play on the other end, and the period ended 59-56 in favor of the Green Archers, a stunning fifteen-point turnaround from the previous quarter.

The Blue Eagles scored their first five points in the fourth on free throws, as the Archers lead no more than four early in the period, before Teng and Jason Perkins scored buckets that pushed La Salle’s advantage to six, 70-64. Newsome scored on an acrobatic lay-up on the other end, but two charities by Teng and Van Opstal and another nifty hook by Van Opstal handed the Archers an eight-point cushion, 74-66.

Newsome would once more score for the Eagles, followed by a two-for-two trip at the line for Buenafe, but Dela Paz nailed a triple from the left corner that brought the lead back up to seven, 77-70, prompting a timeout from Ateneo Coach Bo Perasol and a raucous celebration from the Green Archers fans.

Elorde would get a steal on the other end, however, that brought the lead back down to five with a minute and seventeen left, but Dela Paz, once more seizing the moment in the harsh glare of the spotlight, nailed a jumper from the top of the key to put La Salle up 79-72, with 58 ticks left that proved to be back-breaking for their arch-rivals.

The win propelled the Green Archers to the upper half of the team standings, as they now hold a 2-1 win-loss card, while sending their arch-rivals to their third straight loss.

Notes: The Blue Eagles played for the third straight game without their leading scorer and best player in the preseason, Keifer Ravena; La Salle held a sizeable 48-32 edge in the rebounding department, including 16 offensive rebounds to Ateneo’s five;

The Score:

La Salle- 82- Vosotros-19, Van Opstal-18, Teng-13, Dela Paz-10, Perkins-9, T. Torres-8, N. Torres-5, Reyes-0, Montalbo-0, Bolick-0

Ateneo -73- Newsome-27, Tiongson-14, Buenafe-11, Pessumal-6, Elorde-3, Golla-2, Tolentino-0, Capacio-0,Babilonia-0

Quarterscores: 16-20, 28-40, 59-56, 82-73

mlia

 



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  • John Stockton

    LDP FTW!!!

  • Adrian Murzo

    galing naman..the best talaga kayo…ANIMO LA SALLE.

  • Nate Nate

    Despite the furious comeback, Coach Juno didn’t look thrilled in the final seconds up to the post-game interview. All our first 3 games have been grind it out matches. Slow first halves then suddenly finding the rhythm in the second half until the closing minutes of regulation. Dela Paz for started the run and ended it with a clutch 3. I’m glad to see the boys applying the press. A win is a win.

  • Joseph T. Pascual

    Great win! I still feel are players don’t pass the ball around enough. Hardly any drive and dish plays or no 3 to 4 passes around the perimeter in one set. Too many times it’s jacked perimeter shots by Vosotros and Torres or one on one plays by Teng.

  • archerfan

    great comeback and win! BUT….this is a team that we should not fall behind by that much. sauler cant be happy because he knows the teams they beat are weak and yet they had a hard time. the real test comes friday against FEU, a team with old and experienced players as well as imports. and surely montinola would like to avenge admu’s lost by beating dlsu. Teng must learn to pass and let the game come to him. ball movement will be the key and the big men of dlsu must play tough and smart. utilize and dump the ball to perkins!!! animo La Salle!!!

  • mariano

    Guys, bottomline is WE WON, our players havelearned from whatever shortcomings they had especially in the first half and am sure they will continue to improve. Lets just enjoy this victory and keep supporting our Green Archers, animo La Salle

  • Coolahbear

    It would have been a complete blowout win had we made half of the more than 10 FTs we missed. I still see most of our players are “overthinking” when they are at the FT line. Just make the “dot” , on the center of the FT line, as reference and fire away! Overthinking your shot just increases your “fear of missing.” Deliver your FTs in the most comfortable manner you know. FT shooting is very personal. Just refer to the dot, blank out your mind, aim and fire away. Great game yesterday though. ANIMO Archers!

  • Mike Tumbagahan

    Talk about pressure that Kid Montalbo must have butterflies in his stomach. Having to play his very first UAAP game and its against Ateneo. It think the Kid held his own cant wait for him to have a breakout game. Gab should relax and play what he did during the off season and he’ll too would contribute well.

  • Nate Nate

    i position my left foot on that dot each time I go to the line. i do my usual 3 dribbles, bend my knees then release. i don’t always hit 2 for 2. but, if you have twice a day practices for the past 3 weeks, you just need 30 minutes of non-stop shooting a hundred FTs before you hit the shower.

  • mariano

    While indeed our free throws have been bad these past few years, we la salle supporters are also contributory to this liability, we have been noticing and criticizing the players for it time and again and so as live up to our expectations, our players have subconsciously started to think more they will miss free throws each time they are on the line. The boys have been heavily practicing their free throws, sino ba gustong sumablay, if we want them to start believing they can make them and despite all they still miss more than they convert, lets at least avoid being contributory to it and just simply support them, win or lose.

  • Erwin Sy

    Jeron is not using his fingers to release his free throw shots!! He justs pushes or flips the ball up with his palms, man, that’s gonna be a brick 9 out of 10!

  • Coolahbear

    You are right on the dot my friend! Thanks.

  • Coolahbear

    That is what I meant when I said they have to blank their minds out. Do not think of the crowd and the criticisms!

  • Coolahbear

    You just said it …. “our players have subconsciously started to think more they will miss free throws each time they are on the line” … while my point is to completely blank their minds out when taking those FTs in a way that they will not be pressured by criticisms and the supporters which actually increase the possibility of missing. Just being constructive and helpful my friend.

  • Nate Nate

    i can equate that ‘overthinking’ when Jeron makes that momentary pause (of holding the ball) after he dribbles and right before he shoots. It just breaks his flow. If you take a free throw in 6 seconds, every throw should be at the same length of time. It should be constant. He maybe needs to put some science on it.

  • Coolahbear

    Yes Nate, I also noticed that from Jeron. Also with Norbert and Almond. Next time take note of how ADMU’s Tiongson and Buenafe take their FTs. Very quickly and confidently.

  • greenie76

    Though it was an uplifting win, the true tests are yet to come: games versus NU, FEU, Adamson, and UE, in no particular order. The ultimate goal is the Final Four and beyond…ANIMO!!!