La Salle bounces back, frustrates FEU | Inquirer Sports

La Salle bounces back, frustrates FEU

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 06:52 PM October 11, 2017

FILE PHOTO – Ricci Rivero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Defending champion De La Salle avoided  back-to-back losses and dispatched Far Eastern University, 75-73, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers, after losing to Ateneo 76-75, bounced back and improved to 6-2 to stay at second place while the Tamaraws dropped to 4-4 and barely clung on to the fourth spot.

Andrei Caracut stole Ron Dennison’s inbound pass that preserved the game for the Green Archers after Ricci Rivero committed a free throw violation that almost proved costly for the Green Archers.

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Rivero said they just had to stick to their team’s system of focusing first on defense instead of forcing their offense.

“The coaches just told us to just stuck to the system, because we get our offense through our defense,” said Rivero as La Salle scored 23 points off FEU’s 29 turnovers. “Everything I did on offense started from the team’s defense.”

FEU scored five straight points in the last 2:28 to cut the deficit to just one, 74-73, with Prince Orizu jamming one home at the 2.2-second mark.

Rivero split from the line to make it 75-73 for La Salle but his second attempt did not hit the rim allowing FEU to get possession without the clock ticking away precious seconds.

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Despite his late-game blunders, Rivero still led the Green Archers in scoring with 20 points while Ben Mbala had an 18-point, 17-rebound double-double.

Substitute Jolo Go played quality minutes for La Salle finishing with 14 points, going 4-of-5 from deep, as he hit timely shots that prevented the Tamaraws from taking the lead in the fourth quarter.

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La Salle had a 60-49 lead early in the 4th quarter when FEU slowly chipped at it to make it a two-point game, 67-65, before Go scored five straight points to put the Green Archers up 72-65 at the 3:23 mark.

Ken Tuffin led FEU with 14 points while Barkley Eboña handled his own against Mbala underneath with eight points and 13 boards.

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TAGS: De La Salle Green Archers, Far Eastern University Tamaraws, Sports, UAAP Season 80

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