UAAP Finals: ‘Ferrer killed us,’ says DLSU coach Sauler
MANILA, Philippines — It’s no secret who gave De La Salle fits in its sorry loss to University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball Finals opener Wednesday.
Jeric Teng hit timely baskets for the Growling Tigers, seven coming in the fourth quarter en route to a 17-point night, but it was really Kevin Ferrer who dealt the biggest blows to the Green Archers.
“We’re okay with Jeric Teng, it’s Ferrer who killed us,” DLSU head coach Juno Sauler said.
“Jeric shot just 36 percent from the two-point area and that’s something I can live with, but the 62 percent from the three of Ferrer is the one that killed us,” Sauler added after La Salle’s rally from 17 points down fell short.
Ferrer, the third year forward, drilled in 20 points on five-of-eight shooting from long range to go along with six rebounds, one steal and a block as UST moved to within a game from history as the only fourth-seed to win the championship since the Final Four format was introduced in 1994.
The versatile six-foot-four slotman capped his sterling performance with a clutch three-pointer that gave UST a 73-69 cushion with only 41 seconds left before the Tigers made the stops in the waning seconds of the game, which drew 20,525 faithfuls at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
To most, UST’s championship experience came into play but Sauler thought otherwise.
“Ferrer hit a tough shot sa broken play. They were up four. It’s not really their championship experience but they’ve been playing really well in their last three games so we just have to do better next game.”
Also, Sauler pointed put the fact that the Tigers “shot better in all departments” and that his team “couldn’t get ourselves going” because their big men Arnold Van Opstal and Jason Perkins were saddled by foul trouble early.
La Salle finally saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end but despite it, Sauler insisted there is no change in mindset on the Archers’ side.
“Adjustments, we just have to take away those shots by Ferrer from the three. Play better offensively, get good shots to increase our percentage. Same mindset, it’s to keep improving. Possession by possession we have to improve.”
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