Go Archers -

Piatos unloads on UE Amazons

La Salle 78
UE 52

Afterwards, Coach Tyrone Bautista could only shake his head. Part enjoyment from Trisha Piatos’ shooting exhibition (“Twenty in 17 – mas marami pang points sa minutes”), part relief. The last time these two sides met, it was an ill-tempered affair that left soph**ore point guard Camille Claro with a concussion that took her two full games to recover from.

This time, the game was full of incident, but thankfully for spectators, not for physios. Tweaks to the starting lineup in the second round have given the Lady Archers a firmer grip on the early minutes of games. Miller Ong went to work quickly, throwing no-look nosebreakers, her talent to dominate without scoring again on full parade. Her passes set up rookies Jamie Roxas and Martina Lumba as La Salle raced to an 18-10 lead and never looked back. Ong would end up with seven assists and Roxas nine points and seven rebounds in what has so far been her best game, one in which she had to step in for senior Cass Santos who was at her thesis proposal defence.

Pressure and vigilance would keep the UE Amazons off rhythm and hold them to 20 percent shooting at the half, allowing them to complete only three assists despite matching La Salle in rebounding and turnovers. In contrast, eleven Lady Archers would be on the scoresheet by the break, with La Salle’s 13 first-half assists distributed across seven players.

Both teams would throw the shackles off in the third quarter as the game erupted in a riot of turnovers and shots from long range. For UE there was Danice Llosala who would score nine out of her team’s 17 in that period, taking some of the offensive load off teammate Eunique Chan. On a normal day, that kind of output might have been enough to close the gap and trigger a late-game run. But instead La Salle answered with its own 27-point quarter and enjoyed its largest lead, as Piatos cluster-bombed the coliseum, going six-of-eight from three-point range on the day. Wave after wave of attacks would follow as Chai Vergara and Niky Scott would also hit triples to complement Fretzie Oyao’s catch-and-shoot routine in the paint. And then the long-awaited Fatality: a Ria Pineda special (jumpshot and-one plus staredown in front of her coach) that left more than a few courtside with wide dumb grins.

In the end, the Lady Archers settled for a winning margin of 26. Three more assignments remain in the second round, against UP, FEU, and the last against NU, possibly to determine whether a Final Four will be played at all. Such is the state of combat this season, as favourites National University remain undefeated and rampant. Despite today’s display, La Salle search for still more firepower.

Player of the game: A good basketball photo: face in focus, ball sharp in frame, no chopped limbs, no droopy eyes, no awkward positions, no unflattering expressions. The right moment written in light, caught on a sensor.

There are no good photos of Trisha Piatos shooting. You can push ISOs, master AI Servo and back-button focusing, go nuts on burst mode, even cheat afterwards with smart sharpening. But the girl is too damn quick.