Round-Up: Coach Juno wants better 4th quarter from Archers in Game 3 and more UAAP Finals news
Despite an impressive victory on Saturday, head coach Juno Sauler wants a better finishing kick from La Salle against University of Santo Tomas.
The Green Archers were most assertive on the attack and pushed off every comeback of the Tigers’ for a 77-70 win, forcing a winner-take-all game three in the UAAP men’s basketball finals.
But Sauler wasn’t satisfied with La Salle’s 13-point fourth quarter production, although it kept UST at bay down-the-stretch. The closest UST got in the fourth was seven points.
“Maybe we could have a better output in the 4th quarter. We only scored 13 and that’s our lowest in the ball game,” said Juno Sauler.
“Maybe they were tired because we only used seven players. Maybe my choice was wrong, that’s why they got tired.”
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It appears that DLSU’s game is built on a firmer foundation than their opponents. The Archers used the broad and muscular shoulders of their inside trio, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, and Jason Perkins as a launchpad for success.
La Salle outrebounded Sto. Thomas 57 to 39, and led in offensive rebounding as well, 27 to 10. That pretty much sums up the game; everything flows from there.
DLSU trumped UST on the second chance points ledger as well, 18 to 7. It’s a pity that there’s no official “points in the paint” stat. DLSU would have certainly come out on top.
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La Salle’s brand of old-school meat-and-potatoes interior ball bedeviled UST. Pido Jarencio saw his bigs like Karim Abdul and Kevin Ferrer run into foul trouble early, which hamstrung UST in the second half.
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“Maganda yung first quarter nila (Archers) tapos ang sama ng start namin. Si Karim, masyadong maaga na-foul trouble. Dalawa agad. Tapos ayun, nagkawendang-wendang na,” Jarencio stressed.
Graduating skipper Jeric Teng emerged as the lone bright spot with 28 points but no other Tiger, notably Game 1 hero Kevin Ferrer, was able to provide an ample lift. The lanky 6-foot-4 Ferrer, who sizzled with 20 points, spiked by five treys, in the opener, only had six markers in six limited attempts.
“Kontrolado eh,” was all Ferrer could say of his miserable outing.
For his part, Jarencio said: “Nagre-relax kasi siya. Dapat pumupunta siya sa bola. Humahanap ng open spots. ‘Yung defense rin kasi ng kalaban naka-cover sa kanya. Stay home lang sa kanya.”
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Teng played consistent all game, scoring 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals to lead La Salle in Game Two of the best-of-three series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Teng’s effort came despite being hounded all game long by Ferrer, easily gaining a reputation as one of the best defensive players in the league.
But the UST stalwart got into early foul trouble, giving Teng some room to maneuver.
“’Yung kay Ferrer, siyempre he is starting to get into my head. Pero hindi ako nag-back down and I played my usual game,” said last year’s Rookie of the Year.
Despite his all-around effort, Teng also credited his teammates as La Salle opted to work on a seven-man rotation.
“Malaking bagay sila kasi nung first game, nag kanya-kanya kami. So our game plan was to share the ball,” said Teng.
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UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas big man Karim Abdul vented his frustration over the officiating after a foul-plagued Game Two performance, saying the referees “played a role” in the result.
Speaking after the Tigers’ 70-77 loss to De La Salle in the UAAP Season 76 best-of-three finals on Saturday, the Cameroonian center said the referees made the task of battling Archers big men Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres a lot harder that it already was.
“Okay, first and second quarters I wasn’t focused. I don’t know what has got into me but I believe the referees played a role in the game,” said Abdul, who was saddled with three fouls before the first half could end. “So I’ve never said this before but today, the referees, they really played.”
Abdul said the referees wouldn’t allow him to defend La Salle’s big men properly while letting the Archers get away with a lot of things.
“Because I received warnings (from the referees) like, ‘Don’t put your hand there and I’m gonna call a foul’ and, ‘Don’t put your hands like this cause I’m gonna call a foul,’ that’s why I was letting him (Van Opstal) in the third and fourth quarters because I’m already foul troubled, three fouls. So the referees will say, ‘If you put this hand this way I’m gonna call a foul’ so I coudn’t defend properly,” he added.
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Two big men not only helped their Alma Mater, found in Taft Avenue, extend a thrilling championship series to a rubber match. They reminded their opponents from Espana that size matters.
These centers, Arnold van Opstal and Norbert Torres, ruled the paint in De La Salle University’s 77-70 win over the University of Santo Tomas to extend the UAAP men’s basketball championship series to a third game. Their performance in game 2 reminds of two former UAAP MVP centers of the Archers 17 years ago.
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