First blood! DLSU beats NU 67-63 to win its UAAP opener.
For the nth time, King Archer Jeron Teng delivered in the clutch for the Green Archers. Jeron made the eventual game sealing basket, as the De La Salle Green Archers defeated the reigning, defending UAAP Champions NU Bulldogs 67-63.
De La Salle started the first quarter strong, thanks to a strong start by Jeron Teng. The first quarter ended with a 16-6 lead for the Archers. And it was more of the same during the second quarter as the first half ended with a 33-23 lead for the Green Archers. The “smaller” Archers actually dominated the rebounding battle during the first half, especially on the offensive boards. Jeron Teng and Caracut scored 8 points a piece during the first half, with the rookie making 2 three pointers in the first half alone. Prince Rivero came off the bench and scored 7 points during the first 2 quarters. La Salle shot 43% from the field with 27 starter points and 8 second-chance points.
The second half started with the defending champions playing more aggressive. They would cut the lead to single-digits several times during the 3rd quarter but just can’t complete the rally; as the Archers would just make mini-runs of its own to maintain a sizable lead. NU actually dominated the offensive rebounding battle during the third quarter, 8-1. Caracut once again went hot from downtown during this quarter, while Jeron showed his much improved mid-range jump shot (thanks to some one on one coaching with former King Archer Ren Ren Ritualo). The third quarter ended with a 51-40 DLSU lead.
Technical difficulties delayed the beginning of the fourth quarter. When the game finally resumed, it was NU who went on the aggressive mode. It was a nip and tuck affair during the fourth quarter, as DLSU maintained a decent lead for most of the quarter, but the Bulldogs just kept on fighting back. All of a sudden, we are down to the last two minutes of the game, with La Salle’s lead down to two points. NU actually had a chance to tie the game, but they just managed a split from the line. Perkins then made some clutch free throws to bring the lead up to 3. Then, Jeron made the eventual game-sealing basket to give the win to the Green and White.
King Archer Jeron Teng scored 18 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 2 dimes. Rookie Andrei Caracut proved that he is worth the hype during his debut game as he scored 13 points, thanks to three triples. Jason Perkins is indeed a double-double machine, as he scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Prince Rivero came off the bench and scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Only 9 players played for DLSU, and 2 of them only played spot minutes, as Coach Juno Sauler stuck with a short rotation. Let’s see if he will use a longer rotation during the next few games. La Salle played “small ball” with Jeron playing the 4 and Prince playing the 5 at one point. GSW won the NBA title using the “small ball” so we just need to wait and see if this would work out in the UAAP. Gelo Alolino scored 16 points while Alejandro scored 15 points for NU. Aroga had a near “double-double” of 9 points and 10 rebounds but he was saddled by foul trouble all through out the game and eventually fouled out. Next stop for the Archers is against fellow opening weekend winner, UP.