DLSU regains respect, captures Flying V diadem

9 01 2007

Asking for redemption, the new-look De La Salle University Green Archers defused the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 79-67, on Sunday to capture the Fil-oil-Flying V Homegrown Invitational Cup title at the jam-packed Philsports Arena.

Though they loss to a deserving opponent, the JRU Heavy Bombers gained some recognition from Green Archers coach Franz Pumaren, on the other end.

“I have a big respect on JRU players because they never give up despite we won this,” said Pumaren, noting the victorious campaign of his squad served as a notice to all the UAAP teams that they are ready to regain the throne.

“I really surprised with the developments,” added Pumaren. “The players really want to prove something as they showed maturity and looked like we’re heading to a grand welcome comeback party in the UAAP.”

Tyrone Tang, the team’s veteran player and point guard, led the assault with 13 of his 22 points in the second half, including the four triples in the payoff frame, along with five assists and three steals.

“Coach Franz told me to take charge because I’m the leader now since Joseph Yeo is already in the PBA,” said Tang, who drilled in a crippling triple to register La Salle’s biggest spread in the game, 71-50, still 6:12 remaining.

Lanky 6’4 Rico Maierhofer added 15 points, collared 11 rebounds and swatted three enemy attempts to cop the Most Valuable Player trophy, while Joseph Casio and PJ Barua came off the bench with 12 and eight points, respectively.

“My mommy is here so I’m really excited and inspired to play today,” said Maierhofer, whose two free throws erected the Green Archers’ lead in the last 4:15, 73-56. “I’m glad the hard work has finally paid off too.”

Coach Ariel Vanguardia, for the side of JRU, told reporters the Green Archers have used their championship experience to win the game. Despite the Heavy Bombers’ loss, they still gained in the game, he said.

“We just couldn’t match their players,” said Vanguardia, referring to playmakers Tyrone Tang and Joseph Casio and forward Rico Maierhofer. “Anyway, this experience would benefit our program for the NCAA.”

The Green Archers dominated the first half in opening a 47-35 lead. They shot 14 of 24 from the field, hit but one of 11 free throws, and had three 3-pointers while holding the Bombers to 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.
The Heavy Bombers’ inability to react offensively due to De La Salle’s perimeter defense was the story of the first 20 minutes. The Green Archers relied on the seven-point performance of Tang earlier to provide them a 26-22 lead at the close of opening period.

JRU came within 40-49 after Maui Pradas’ jumper with 6:15 in the third, but Tang and reserve PJ Barua delivered the points needed in the two-minute mark to keep La Salle’s huge lead at the start of the payoff frame, 59-46.

The Green Archers scored 20 points more in the final period courtesy of Tyrone Tang, Rico Maierhofer, Joseph Casio and PJ Barua to seal the win.

Maierhofer was later named to the Mythical Five together with teammate JV Casio, Jose Rizal’s JR Sena, Far Eastern’s Paul Sanga and University of the East’s James Martinez.

Box scores:

DLSU 79—Tang 22, Maierhofer 15, Casio 12, Barua 8, Malaabes 7, Cua 4, Villanueva 4, Batrevic 2, Co 2, Ilad 1, Atkins 0.

RU 67—Wilson 26, Sena 15, Pradas 8, Dedicatoria 8, Tumulak 5, Apostol 3, Cagoco 2, Bulangis 0, Cunanan 0, Yuzon 0, Nocum 0, Echane 0, Hayes 0, de Vera 0, Se 0.

Quarter scores: 26-22; 47-35; 59-46; 79-67

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