La Salle up 2-0 early in the 75th UAAP after putting away UEBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — La Salle peeled away late in the fourth quarter for a 67-59 triumph over University of the East Thursday to remain undefeated thus far in the 75th UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Jeron Teng poured half of his total 16 points – highlighted by three straight three-point plays in the final five minutes – in the payoff period where the Green Archers widened the gap to double digits.
“We’re very happy with our record, but there’s still a long way to go. Ultimately, we want to get better,” said head mentor Gee Abanilla in the post-game presser.
Despite an impressive 2-0 headstart in the standings, La Salle have yet to showcase its best form as it broke a sweat trying to fend off UE for good.
“UE really played with a lot of confidence. We have to cut down our TOs. It’s a good thing we survived this game,” said Abanilla.
Teng, coming up big anew, fired away with five straight points before guard LA Revilla nailed a jumper which turned a precarious 51-50 edge to a double-digit cushion La Salle held on until the end.
Revilla added 11 points along with Jovet Mendoza.
While Green Archers hold the top spot, the Red Warriors remain in search of that first victory of the season despite displaying a contrast performance this time around.
UE, after a humbling 55-90 defeat to National Univeristy last weekend, bounced back by sticking with La Salle for the better part of the game.
But the Red Warriors, unable to get over the hump and take the lead for once, gave up playing catch up after inching with a point twice in the fourth quarter.
Guard Roi Sumang, who’s turning out to be a revelation for UE, led anew with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists while Adrian Santos added 14 points and 14 boards.