By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE De La Salle Green Archers are once again shooting in Season 81 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, winning their second straight game with a 79-59 pounding of the University of the East Red Warriors in the opener on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Finished their first-round assignment with a victory last time around, the Archers opened the second half of the season with a masterclass to beat the Warriors and improve to 5-3 while taking a share of third place, as of this writing, with the idle Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
La Salle held sway at the onset, streaking to a 13-6 lead over UE midway into the opening quarter.
It would then maintain control despite the fight back of the Warriors to hold a 21-16 advantage after the first period.
In the second quarter, the Archers sustained their solid play behind Andrei Caracut, Santi Santillan, and Justine Baltazar.
They held a 40-26 separation with 4:09 to go in the half.
Alvin Pasaol and Chris Conner tried to rally the Warriors back but they could not overhaul La Salle’s lead, which stood at 11 points, 47-36, by the halftime break.
The duo of Pasaol and Conner got things started for UE in the third period, helping their team to a 10-2 blast to pull the Warriors to within three points, 49-46, at the 5:46 mark.
That was the closest they would get though as Encho Serrano and the Archers responded with an 11-0 blast in the next four minutes.
La Salle eventually settled with a 66-49 lead at the end of three quarters.
Had firm control of the match to begin the payoff quarter, the Archers went for the early finish.
They stretched their lead to 21 points, 73-52, with 5:41 remaining in the contest.
From there La Salle just coasted along to book the victory.
Serrano top-scored for La Salle with 18 points, followed by Caracut with 16 and Santillan and Baltazar with 13 and 12, respectively.
Pasaol, meanwhile, led UE (1-7) with 22 points and 17 rebounds while Conner finished with 12 points.
“Heading into the game I told the players that with the way the teams are stacked up in the standings every game counts; that we have to be ready each time. This was a big win for us,” said La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez after their win.
The Archers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 20, against the Adamson Falcons while the Warriors collide with University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Meanwhile, the UAAP slapped game suspensions on FEU’s Arvin Tolentino, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena, and UP’s Javi Gomez de Liano for recent unsportsmanlike actions.
Tolentino was handed out a two-game ban after incurring his second disqualifying foul, the last one against University of Santo Tomas’ Zachy Huang on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Ravena and Gomez de Liano received one-game suspensions each.
Ateneo’s Ravena was seen throwing a closed fist on UP’s Paul Desiderio also on Sunday while Gomez de Liano merited his after getting two technical fouls against the Eagles that led to his ejection.
By Michael Angelo S. Murillo