Archers shrug off Chiefs. Earn first Fil-Oil victory
With a little less than three minutes remaining and his squad up by only two against the pesky Arellano Chiefs, Green Archer Joseph Marata took a pass from a teammate and hoisted a three-pointer. He had missed his previous three-point attempt, but this one sailed right through the net, giving the Green Archers a five-point cushion. In the next possession, it was teammate Luigi Dela Paz who buried a trey from the left wing, and Chiefs Coach Leo Isaac was forced to call for time.
The Archers would go on to win the highly physical game by thirteen, 74-61, for their first win of the Fil-Oil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, behind 15 points from Dela Paz and 11 from Marata. Yutien Andrada, hitherto known for his defensive prowess, also chipped in nine points, while Joshua Webb and rookie Ponso Gotladera both added eight, with Gotladera also pulling down eight rebounds. Court general LA Revilla, who is back in the line-up after being saddled for two years due to health reasons, had an all-around performance of eight assists, seven rebounds and five points.
After tying the game at 57 and pulling within two, 61-63, after a lay-up by forward Adrian Celada, the Archer defense clamped down on the Chiefs as they would not score until the final horn, while the Green-and-White squad, anchored by Marata and Dela Paz, would go on an 11-0 run to end the game.
Back-to-back triples and a lay-up by Celada, who had a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, would put the Chiefs within three, 45-42, with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. From that point, the Chiefs constantly attacked the basket, fishing for fouls and getting to the line. The Archers, however, would repeatedly quell the rallies mounted by the Chiefs, and finally extinguished any hopes of an upset after the back-to-back triples by Marata and Dela Paz.
Easily the most telling statistic was the rebounds, as the Taft-based squad asserted its height advantage over the Chiefs as they held a nine-rebound advantage, 47-38. They also held the Legarda-based squad’s shooting percentage to a measly 37%, while shooting at a higher 44% clip. They would make a total of six three-pointers on a 35% clip, with half of them coming from Dela Paz.
La Salle mentor Dindo Pumaren was again able to field in almost everyone of his players with 13 of the 16 players who were fielded scoring at least a point. The Chiefs, meanwhile, only used a 10-man rotation.
Ponso Gotladera was the freshman who made the biggest impact, banging in eight points and eight rebounds, while repeatedly showing his nifty spin move against Chiefs import Charles Mammie. Norbert Torres, who started the game for the Archers, scored six points and pulled down five rebounds before fouling out with a little less than two minutes left in the game.
Arnold Van Opstal pulled down three rebounds, blocked a couple of shots, and scored on a dunk during the third canto. Dan Sara and Michael Pate were fielded for six and four minutes, respectively, with the former scoring on a jumper, pulling down a rebound and dishing out an assist.
La Salle 74- De La Paz 15, Marata 11, Andrada 9, Gotladera 8, Webb 8, Torres 6, Revilla 5, Paredes 4, Van Opstal 2, Vosotros 2, Sara 2, Atkins 1, Mendoza 1, Tampus 0, Pate 0, Villanueva 0
Arellano 61- Celada 22, Zulueta 11, Mammie 11, Acidre 6, Palma 5, Caperal 2, Casino 2, Doligon 2, Del Rosario 0, Pagayunan 0
The Green Archers will next face the defending champions, the San Sebasatian Golden Stags, this Wednesday at 4 pm. It could be remembered that it was the Stags who eliminated the Archers en route to their Fil-Oil crown, so the Archers will definitely be looking for a measure of revenge.