Months after their last dance in the playing field, the Green Archers showed no signs of rust after their comeback win over the UST Growling Tigers, 73-67, last April 13 to open the FilOil Preseason.
Minnesota-native Jason Perkins willed the Archers to victory with his double-double feat with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Archer’s energy guy also shot 60 percent from the line.
“I really don’t have much expectations, I just worked hard and tried my best. I was really nervous out there but eventually I got used to everything,” expressed Perkins.
After being shelved in huge chunks last season, sophomore Gabby Reyes made his presence felt after posting a stat line of 13 points and 2 assists. He also nailed a crucial corner trey which aided the Archer’s comeback run.
“Basically I started (last) year out (of the rotation) so the coaches helped me a lot in getting my confidence back. So I thank them for that and it eventually paid off,” shared Reyes. Coach Gee Abanilla also expressed his delight in his swingman, saying, “I couldn’t ask for more. As he said, last season he was barely needed. I always believe in this guy. I think he has a lot of talent and potential. Hopefully, the coaches could do much for him.”
Dominating the glass
Being a team equipped with a tall frontcourt, the Archers played to their strengths and successfully outrebounded a smaller UST squad.
The team had amassed a total of 45 boards compared to UST’s 37.
Perkins led the rebounding department with 13 rebounds – 9 coming from the offensive end. Moreover, Norbert Torres added 9 boards and Yutien Andrada had 5.
“When we played (tight) defense against UST, they started missing shots and we controlled the boards,” shared Abanilla.
In this game, the Archers’ athleticism and bench depth proved to be too much for UST’s top guns.
With Jeric Teng and Aljon Mariano taking the scoring load with 31 and 28 points respectively, majority of the Tigers struggled to contribute to the offense.
Facing a bigger and deeper front court, Karim Abdul was limited to 3 points on 25% shooting. The Archers also made life though for the lanky Kevin Ferrer. He finished the game with only 2 points and saw limited playing time due to foul trouble.
Little peep at the young guns.
This game also marked the debut of rookies Kib Montalbo and Robert Bolick.
Montalbo scored only 3 points in limited minutes of action while Bolick added 2 markers for La Salle.
Coach Gee later expressed his thoughts on both of their potentials and their adjusting to the team’s system, saying, “Sabi ko nga sa mga high school namin, hindi muna namin bibiglain. Baka kasi mapaso yung bata at mawalan ng kumpiyansa. I think there are going to fit well with the team. So, we are breaking them gently.”