Finally! After almost a month of agony, the Green Archers at last registered their 5th win of the season. Despite a disappointing 2nd half start wherein the Tigers clawed back from a double digit halftime lead, the team still had enough will and sheer determination to pull through and keep their final four hopes alive.
Just when we all though that he would be benched for the entire game, veteran James Mangahas finally unleashed his venom in the 2nd half which stung the Tigers’ chance of a comeback and sealing their spot in the semifinals.
James and Bader were not fielded in during the first half. Coach Franz surely sent a strong message to these guys but eventually they all got a chance to strut their wares later on. Just goes to show that no matter what, the Archers will live and die with our veterans leading the charge.
Defense was good, holding UST to just 64 points, 30 in the first half and 34 in the second. UST is one of the highest scoring teams in the tournament. However, the defensive intensity has to be maintained for the full 40 minutes, not just short stretches.
For the second straight game, Joel ably quarterbacked the offense, and was a key factor in helping the Archers erect that 18 point lead in the first half. It was his assist to a wide open James that enabled that Mangahas triple that created separation in the last few seconds.
Free throw woes returned to haunt the team. If not for the misses, the Archers would have built enough of a cushion and the game would not have been the nail biter that it was.
Turnovers hurt the team early in the 2nd half, enabling UST to tie the game at 43-all. Overeagerness, plus the pressure exerted by the UST rally contributed to the spate of errors. The Archers scored only 6 points in the 3rd quarter after compiling 42 points in the first half. Fortunately, the entry of James somewhat steadied the team, and they were able to battle UST on even terms for the remainder of the game.