Undermanned Green Archers Beats UAAP Defending Champs

29 07 2007

With all their big men out on fouls and injuries, La Salle was able to use its experience and determination to pull out a win against defending champion UST. Coach Franz Pumaren has never lost 3 straight games in his college coaching career and that record is still intact.

UST was not able to take advantage of their size in overtime and even if they led throughout most of the game, they ended up short. With FEU’s victory over Ateneo in the 2nd game, UST finds itself below FEU in the standings.

La Salle had a slightly different starting 5, with Casio replacing Villanueva. La Salle starts out extremely flat while UST starts strong.

As expected, UST big man Jervy Cruz dominates the boards and La Salle is unable to get a smooth pattern going. Rico Maierhofer gets 2 quick fouls and has to sit down. Again, the Archers’ foul shooting was dismal as was its interior defense.

1st Quarter ends 14 – 10 UST

The 2nd quarter is a disaster for the Green Archers. Rebounding is totally controlled by UST on both ends. La Salle appears tentative and lacking in confidence.

Coach Franz starts to find a productive combination. He sends in Malabes who has appeared afraid and nervous since the start of the season. He forces a 3 pointer that hits nothing but air. Pumaren quicky pulls him out.

Then Rico Maierhofer commits a useless 3 rd foul and is put back on the bench.

UST goes on a tear and at one point led by as much as 16, converting from inside and outside. Midway through the 2nd quarter, La Salle settles down. James Mangahas begins hitting his shots and the Archers are able to bring the lead down to ten.

2nd Quarter ends 38 – 28 UST

La Salle starts out strong and fluid. They run their set plays and are successful, getting easy layups and slowly cutting UST’s lead. The defense also clamps up causing turnovers for UST.

TY tang suddenly erupts and the La Salle is running the fast break. Tang scores, passes and rebounds. Mangahas also plays his vaunted post up game and is very successful. La Salle goes on a 17 to 2 run and ties the game.

The Archers use the clock and their patience pays off. They are able to shift the momentum to their side. They are also converting their foul shots. But Maierhofer gets his 4th foul and again has to sit down. Not long after, Brian Illad gets injured.

The only sore spot in that quarter was again Malabes who just forced his shots and had air balls.

3rd Quarter ends 62 – 60 UST

In the 4th quarter, TY tang continues to go on a tear. La Salle controls the tempo of the game and everyone is contributing both defensively and offensively.

La Salle keeps up with UST even without Maierhofer. He finally comes in and gets a succession of rebounds before he fouls out. Maierhofer played less than 10 minutes in the entire game. Not long after both Walsham and Ferdinand also foul out.

With La Salle leading by 3 in the closing minute, UST goes on a 5 – 0 run. They take the lead with 6 seconds left in regulation. After a timeout, TY Tang inbounds to JV Casio who takes it strong to the basket and ties the score. At that point Casio was 3 of 16 from the field but the diminutive player just took over.

4th Quarter ends 79 -79

The overtime period didn’t look too promising for La Salle considering that they had no big men. Kish Co took over as center and rose to the occasion. After UST takes an early lead, La Salle turns on the speed and begins to control the game.

The experience of the La Salle squad was evident as Tang, Casio and Mangahas took control. But it was the steady foul shooting of Kish Co that gave La Salle the lead. Co was not intimidated by Jervy Cruz and muscled his way to critical rebounds.

La Salle wins 90 – 86

My 2-cents worth

Foul shooting wins and loses games. It killed La Salle in the last 2 games it lost and today, foul shooting won the game for the Green Archers.

The play of TY Tang also spelled the difference when Tang goes, expect the Archers to follow. Casio needs help and Tang is the player that needs to step up. Today, even without Maierhofer, the guards were able to

Kish Co was a revelation in this game. The mild mannered Co showed the intensity that La Salle so badly needed.

Malabes so far has been a bust for the Green Archers. I really can see potential in this player but he is too much in a hurry. He does not seem to get into the teamwork needed to play good basketball. He tries too hard on one on one plays which more often than not end inbad shots.

La Salle needed this victory to boost its confidence. I hope we can get on a roll. Our next opponent is NU. This team always plays La Salle very well and this year they have a potent team.

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