La Salle topples archrival Ateneo

30 04 2007

WITH only two months left, De La Salle University can’t hide its excitement to return ito the hardwood after missing the UAAP last season due to suspension.

De La Salle University gave a surprising treat to all thier supporters by defeating archrival Ateneo De Manila University in their stellar meeting at the FilOil Flying V Pres-season Invitational at the San Juan Arena to a score of 71-69 capturing their first win of the tournament.

“It’s good to be back again,” said Franz Pumaren, La Salle’s long-time mentor. “Everybody expects that our morale is low because of what happened but we proved them wrong.”

The DLSU Green Archers joined first game winners San Beda College and the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers while Ateneo, Letran College and National University Bulldogs tasted their first defeat of the series.

“We’re lucky because we were able to pull through when it mattered most,” said La Salle mentor Franz Pumaren. “My veterans provided exactly what we needed to take this victory so I credit them in this game.”

In the 1st Quarter, after 2 minutes of action, the Blue Eagles were ahead, 5-4 courtesy of Jefferson de Guzman, Michael Baldos and Jobe Nkemakolem. But inspite of turnover plagues to both teamsin the final 2 munutes of the quarter, Tyrone Tang, JV Casio and Bader Malabes managed to keep the Green Archers ahead to close the first 10 minutes with a score of 17-13.

The 2nd quarter was a different story. The Green Archers finally unleashed their vaunted pressing game and raced to a 7-point lead after 6 1/2 minutes of action, 27-20. But Christopher Sumalinog, Alec Rivera, Yuri Escueta and Paolo Dizon made sure that the Blue Eagles will stay within striking distance of the Green Archers by taking advantage of DLSU’s offensive miscues. Ateneo eventually tied the ballgame at 34 to close the first half.

In the 2nd half, no team led by more than five points in third quarter after both teams shifted gears and adjusted their defenses.

The Green Archers held a 63-59 spread with 5:41 in the fourth but Blue Eagles’ Nkemakolem canned two baskets and Christopher Sumalinog made a jumper to give Ateneo the lead, 65-64, with 2:18 to go.

Veteran playmaker Tyrone Tang led DLSU with 13 points and eight assists while JV Casio added 12 and Pocholo Villanueva had eight. Jobe Nkemakolem had a game-high 17 while Christopher Sumalinog added 14 markers for Ateneo.

PJ Walsham gave back a 67-65 DLSU spread with a free throw before Sumalinog connected to tie the count at 67.

In the ensuing play, Green Archer veteran wingman JV Casio made a spectacular lay-up and was fouled by Blue Eagle Yuri Escueta in the process. He made the bonus charity to make it a 3-point effort.

Escueta hit two free throws to crawl back to within two but it was the last stand for Ateneo as Sumalinog missed on a potential game-winner as time expired.

Box scores:

LA SALLE 71 — Tang 13, Casio 12, Villanueva 8, Walsham 7, Co 7, Malabed 6, Lee 5, Batricevik 4, Cua 3, Ilad 3, Maierhoffer 2, Ferdinand 1.

ATENEO 69 — Nkomakolem 17, Sumalinog 14, Rivera 9, Escueta 8, Baldis 5, Laterre 4, Quimzon 3, Dizon 3, Lastimosa 2, Gonzaga 2, De Guzman 2.

Quarter scores: 17-13, 34-34, 53-50, 71-69




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