UAAP: Minus five players, La Salle absorbs tough loss to FEU
MANILA, Philippines — Woes continue to pile up for La Salle as it missed five players, including three starters, in absorbing its third straight defeat at the hands of the surging Far Eastern University, 57-53, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle missed the presence of MVP frontrunner Schonny Winston, who averaged a league-best 21.29 points to go with 6.14 rebounds, 3.57 assists, and 3.0 steals, sat out due to a strained calf he suffered against Adamson at the end of the first round.
Winston wasn’t the only player who missed the game against FEU as Michael Phillips rested after recovering from diarrhea. Raven Cortez was also unavailable due to sprained ankle. Ice Blanco is under the weather, while Evan Nelle served his one-game suspension.
La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren begged off from an interview after his team dropped to a 3-5 record.
The Filipino-American guard, who is still doubtful on Saturday against Ateneo, spoke for the Green Archers.
“It was definitely a tough loss because we missed a lot of players and this was one of the wins that we needed to get to really get us over the hump,” Winston said.
UAAP Season 85 MVP candidate Schonny Winston gives an update about his injury and shares his thoughts after becoming eligible to play for the national team as a local.
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Winston still lauded the effort of his teammates, led by Kevin Quiambao, who had 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Bright Nwanko had eight points and 11 boards, while Penny Estacio and CJ Austria also scored eight each.
But the 24-year-old shooter said they have to learn from their mistakes, which have played a big part in their frustrating slide.
“It showed that we can compete and win even though the three starters are missing. But then, we still haven’t learned from Round 1 where we close a game in the fourth quarter and we lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter in the last closing moments so, that’s one of the challenges we kind of have to overcome or really focus on in these last couple minutes because that’s where you win games,” he added.
Winston said he is hoping to suit up in their rivalry game, which he really looks forward to since he played in the UAAP last season. Although he is still uncertain, he believes the Green Archers will fight for pride against the Blue Eagles.
“It’s still an Ateneo-La Salle game so it’s still gonna bring the crowd and the fans, it’s gonna bring the best out of Ateneo and it’s gonna bring the best out of our players,” he said. “I already know it’s gonna be a dogfight, that game, that’s just how it is in the past history, it’s gonna be rowdy. I’m actually looking forward to this game because this is one of the games I look forward to every year, the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry.”