Archers pip Bulldogs; Tamaraws score
La Salle gave National University a taste of a possibly tough title defense.
And Jeron Teng showed what he does best as the Green Archers spoiled the Bulldogs’ campaign opener with a 67-63 decision Sunday in the 78th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Far Eastern University looked as intimidating as billed and walloped Ateneo, 88-64, behind the combined 68 points of Roger Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo and Raymar Jose.
“We were just fortunate our outside shots were going in, especially at the start of the ballgame,” coach Nash Racela said of his Tamaraws, who shot an impressive 51.35 percent from the field.
The efficient Tamaraws pulled ahead right in the first quarter, 23-11, and kept the Blue Eagles at distances of more than 20 points the rest of the game.
Teng drained a running jumper over NU’s Jeoff Javillonar with 23.6 seconds left to help the Archers seal the win after the Bulldogs had trimmed to a point, 60-59, the double-digit lead they held almost all game long.
“We had to come out really strong,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler. “We knew NU, being the defending champion, would give us a good fight. And they proved themselves in the fourth quarter when they got back.”
Teng paced the Archers with 18 points and rookie Andrei Caracut had a notable debut of 13, nine from three-point range.
Jason Perkins—whose two free throws with 63 ticks left gave the Archers some buffer, 62-59—registered a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“As happy as how we ended the game—we fought hard—unfortunately, we fell short,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano after their back-to-back title bid got off to a rough start.
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 15 points, 30-45, before Gelo Alolino, Jay Alejandro and Rev Diputado fueled a fourth-quarter rally.
Turnovers inside the last three minutes almost cost the Archers the game and allowed the Bulldogs to stage a 9-0 run that cut the gap to 60-59.
LA SALLE 67—Teng 18, Caracut 13, Perkins 13, Rivero 11, Sargent 6, Torres 3, Tratter 3, Go 0, Langston 0.
NU 63—Alolino 16, Alejandro 15, Aroga 9, Diputado 8, Javelona, 4, Salim 4, Neypes 3, Javillonar 2, Morido 2, Abatayo 0, Celda 0, Rangel 0, Tansingco 0.
Quarters: 16-6, 33-23, 51-40, 67-63
FEU 88—Pogoy 19, Tolomia 17, Belo 16, Jose 16, Escoto 6, Arong 5, Iñigo 5, Dennison 4, Escoto 0, Holmqvist 0, Orizu 0, Tamsi 0, Trinidad 0.
ATENEO 64—Ravena 25, Capacio 14, Pessumal 9, Gotladera 6, Wong 4, Cani 2, Ikeh 2, Tolentino 2, Babilonia 0, Nieto 0, Pingoy 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarters: 23-11, 44-26, 64-49, 88-64
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