La Salle forces Game 3 in UAAP finals-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
MANILA - De La Salle University dominated the game from start to finish on Saturday to keep University of Santo Tomas at bay, 77-70, and force a deciding Game 3 of the UAAP men's basketball tournament.
It brought back memories of 1999, when La Salle also bounced back from an opening loss to sweep the next two games for its second consecutive crown in the league. The new champion will be crowned at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 12.
The Green Archers even led by as many as 17 points, 36-19, in the second quarter before the Growling Tigers sparked a 10-3 run to make it a one-point game, 43-44, with 7:28 left in the third.
But the Archers did not back down, responding with a 13-2 spurt to post a comfortable lead, 57-45.
"Everyone played well not just the bigs who contributed the rebounds," said La Salle coach Juno Sauler, as his wards won the battle for the boards, 57-39.
Sauler only used seven players, four of them scoring more than 10 points each. Jeron Teng had an all-around game with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals while bigman Norbert Torres posted 16 markers and 10 boards.
Arnold Van Opstal contributed 13 points and 14 rebounds.
"We'll start working on improvements starting tomorrow (Sunday), so whatever it is we need to improve on. I know we did better in terms of turnover ratio, 16-8. We just have to work on our mindset, on how to play the fourth quarter, on how to close out games," Sauler told reporters at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
UST coach Pido Jarencio, meanwhile, took the loss in stride.
"Di pa do-or-die game, buhay pa kami," he said.
Jeric Teng led all scorers with 28 points while Karim Abdul finished with 13. Kevin Ferrer, whose three-point shooting killed the Archers in Game 1 (72-73) last October 2, was limited to six markers. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)