Monday, 8 July 2013 29 Comments
by JOSEF T. RAMOS
De La Salle University overcame a sluggish first two quarters to stun defending champion Ateneo De Manila University, 82-73, on Sunday in Season 76 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Green Archers, who are now with a 2-1 win-loss card under new coach Juno Sauler, ended a 6-game losing streak to the Blue Eagles that started in 2010.
“I just told the players we weren’t executing in the first half,” said Sauler. “We weren’t sharing the ball. I just told them to stop trying to do things on their own and basically execute what we do on offense.”
Ateneo absorbed a 0-3 win-loss log for the first time since 1994 when it lost its first six matches.
The Eagles actually raced to a 40-28 halftime lead with Chris Newsome and Ryan Buenafe scoring 18 and 7 points, respectively, in the first two quarters.
The Blues had 18 points-off-turnovers in the first half while the Green Archers had only four.
But La Salle came out strong in the third period by outscoring Ateneo, 31-16, capped by the stellar plays of big man Arnold Van Opstal, who already had 15 points and seven rebounds in the first three quarters playing off the bench.
Van Opstal, who racked up a total of 18 points along with eight rebounds and two blocks, scored on a three-point play to give La Salle the lead entering the fourth quarter, 59-56.
Almond Vosotros, who led La Salle with 19 points and nine rebounds, stretched La Salle’s cushion to 63-57 midway in the fourth after scoring on a lay-up.
Ateneo narrowed the gap to 73-70 before La Salle’s Luigi Dela Paz sparked a devastating 9-3 run to seal the victory. Dela Paz finished with 10 points.
Van Opstal and Dela Paz outscored the entire Ateneo bench, 28-9.
“It’s my first time beating Ateneo,” Van Opstal said. “We came into this game thinking that this is our time.”
Newsome posted 27 points for the Blue Eagles, who have pretty much dominated the Green Archers recent years. Juami Tiongon added 14 points while Ryan Buenafe chalked up for 11 for the reeling five-time champions. (EF/Inboundpass.com)
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 10, Erram 6, Elorde 3, Golla 2, Tolentino 0, Capacio 0, Babilonia 0.
QS: 16-20; 28-40; 59-56; 82-73.