Saturday, 9 April 2011 4,474 Views / 157 Comments
“Sana UAAP na’ to!” (I wish this was the UAAP already!) exclaimed a jubilant UST coach Pido Jarencio, after his shorthanded charges defeated a deep De La Salle Green Archers squad, 79-70.
Playing without Jeric Teng, Chris Camus, and Eduardo Daquioag, the Tigers leaned on deadeye shooting from Jeric Fortuna, Clark Bautista, and former-UST Tiger Cub Kevin Ferrer to put away the Archers.
All in all, the trio combined for 10 triples, but none bigger than the rookie Ferrer’s, a dagger that came with less than a minute to play, to give the Tigers a 73-65 lead.
Fortuna led his squad with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, while Melo Afuang added 19 points and 9 boards, despite playing against the Green side’s giants. Ferrer would finish with an all-around effort of 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
Jovet Mendoza led the Archers with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Fil-Canadian rookie big man Norbert Torres would score 11, including two triples, but all in the first half.
Simon Atkins likewise scattered 11, but missed multiple shots and committed a key turnover down the stretch.
When asked why UST chose to join the FilOil tournament this summer after usually shunning it, Jarencio jokingly remarked, “Wala akong malalabas [sic] last year.”
Aside from Ferrer, foreign player Karim Abdul made his TV debut, but it was a foul-plagued one, barely worth mentioning. Saddled with three after the first quarter, he would get hit with number four while trying to get a rebound scant minutes into the second quarter.
Abdul would return in the fourth for an even shorter stint, before getting sent back to the bench permanently for this game. The Tigers though did just fine, thanks in part to some horrible shooting on La Salle’s end of things.
The Archers couldn’t match their first quarter output of 17 in the second, while a combination of long-range shots and superb interior play by Afuang created a 47-33 buffer after twenty minutes.
Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t sustain their momentum after the break, and Green Archer Jovet Mendoza decided it would be his period, scoring 10 of his team’s 21 third quarter points, to cut the lead to just 3, 57-54.
Green Archers coach Dindo Pumaren at this point, had nearly emptied his bench, sending in 15 of his active 16, trying to find a quintet that would get them over the hump. UST would hold on though in the payoff period, despite Ferrer and Paolo Pe being hit with their fourth fouls, and Clark Bautista eventually fouling out.
In all, the Archers converted just 21 out of 35 free throws, the squad’s traditional Achilles’ heel. They also failed to hit from beyond the arc, making just 5 of 22, including Atkins’ 1 of 10 performance. W5
UST 79 – Fortuna 20, Afuang 19, Bautista 16, Ferrer 14, Abdul 6, Pe 2, Tan 2, Lo 0, de Guzman 0, Marata 0, Whitfield 0.
DLSU 70 – Mendoza 15, Torres 11, Atkins 11, de la Paz 10, Tampus 5, Andrada 4, Sara 4, Van Opstal 3, Elorde 2, Villanueva 2, Gotladera 2, Webb 1, Paredes 0, Pate 0, Vigil 0.
Quarter scoring: 22-17, 47-33, 57-54, 79-70