UAAP: Evan Nelle blames self for La Salle’s 3rd quarter woes in loss to Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines—Evan Nelle took the blame after La Salle lost steam in the second half of its loss to archrival Ateneo that extended the Green Archers’ losing streak to four in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nelle returned to action after serving a one-game suspension and led his team with 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
He admitted they had no answer to Ateneo’s 27-10 outburst in the third quarter that proved to be the difference.
“We were there, but the third quarter… The eruption of Ateneo, we couldn’t contain it, or even match the intensity, so that’s on us. We had a lot of turnovers in the third quarter and that’s on me. We just have to regroup,” said Nelle shortly after the Archers’ 68-54 loss that dropped them to seventh place at 3-6.
The 5-foot-10 guard said he showed immaturity as he failed to let the game come to him.
“I think I was just gigil (too aggressive). That’s how I put it. I really wanted to come off strong. I really wanted to make my mark right away. That’s the immaturity in me. I need to learn again. I need to play smarter for me to be able to control the game and avoid suspension,” he said.
Despite the slump, Nelle keeps faith in his team, which missed MVP frontrunner and top scorer Schonny Winston in the past two games.
He hopes to make the most of the Fiba break as La Salle aims to get its act together and make a run for a Final Four spot in the last stretch of eliminations beginning November 17 against Adamson at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’m still rooting for our team. I still think we’re one of the deepest teams. We just went through a lot of adversities and injuries. I’m not using it as an excuse with the way we’re playing. We’re losing fair and square. I just think once we come back healthy and fresh off this break, I hope it will be a different game,” Nelle said.
“This break’s really good for us. Our team will get all the injured players. Whatever we’re dealing with, we could just regroup and come back stronger for the remaining games and the last push,” he added.