Preview: De La Salle Green Archers vs UST Growling Tigers
La Salle tries to go up to 3-0 as the DLSU Green Archers takes on the dangerous UST Growling Tigers. DLSU has been impressive so far, winning a close game against an always-competitive FEU Tamaraws during its opening game; then La Salle dominated UP over the weekend. After losing to Ateneo during the opening weekend, UST bounced back with a close win against the UE Red Warriors. It was the breakout game for former DLSZ Junior Archer Renzo Subido.
UST swept the season series against La Salle last year. The Archers just had no answer for the eventual runner-ups last season. But this year is a different story. No more Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag and (finally!!!!) Karim Abdul for the black and gold. Hopefully, La Salle can turn the tables against UST for this season.
We have two superstars for this season, and they have been playing like superstars so far. Jeron had 28 big points during the opener, including a couple of clutch baskets to seal the deal for the Green and White. Mbala had 23 huge rebounds and 4 blocks during debut, but he “only” had 13 points. So during the game against UP, it was Mbala’s turn to show his offensive prowess. Mbala scored 30 points against UP, and he grabbed 14 rebounds and had 2 blocks as well. Jeron “only” had 12 points against UP. So expect Mbala and Jeron to combine for around 40 points per game for this season. They might take turns in having a huge scoring game, but it would be great to see them both having a huge scoring game on the same game. With no more Abdul manning the paint for Team Espana, Mbala just might have field day once again. Expect the Archers to feed the kid from Cameroon down low, and we might get a couple of “YouTube worthy” plays as well.
Despite the early season success so far, the La Salle fans are not yet satisfied. Many expected a blowout against FEU and even though La Salle won over UP by 18 points, Mbala had to play during the latter part of the 4th to seal the win, as UP trimmed the lead to low-double digits during the middle to latter part of the fourth quarter. La Salle needs a big win against UST to give the fans some assurance that this team has the killer instinct that is needed to win the championship. Every team will try their very best against La Salle, and the Archers needs to play their best in every single game, in every single possession, to show the league that it means business.
La Salle and UST had countless classics over the years. The older fans can never forget the bridesmaid years during the early to mid 90’s, when UST dominated the league, beating La Salle in several championship battles. There was the unforgettable Dino Aldeguer 3 back in 1999 during the 2nd of the eventual 4-peat of the Archers. Joseph Yeo had his breakout game against UST during 2002 in Rizal, hitting a huge 3 to force overtime and eventually retain the then perfect record. There was the Maui Villanueva tip-in back in 2008. And of course, there was the battle of the Teng brothers from 2012-2013. There was electricity in the air during their first ever UAAP meeting back in 2012, which Jeric won, and during the second round, Jeron hit a game winning shot. And of course, there was the classic 3-game finals series back in 2013, when Jeron led us to the championship. Will we see another #DLSUST classic this Wednesday? The thing is, Lasallians wants a blowout this time around! Let’s show them what Mayhem basketball is all about! Animo La Salle!