Last Saturday, De La Salle University dragged down University of the Philippines from cloud nine.
Coming off unexpected back-to-back wins, the Fighting Maroons were no match for the Green Archers, 72-78, who marched forward to their ninth win in as many games.
While they may have been at the losing end, coach Bo Perasol actually thought they executed their gameplan to perfection. “As I was telling them, aside from the missed free throws and the offensive rebounds we gave up, the attitude and the tempo of the game, those were the things we really wanted to happen,” he said.
Perasol was quick to clarify, however, that the difference between the two teams were very much apparent when all was said and done. As he put it, “La Salle just had too many horses.”
He then continued, “I had to use some (of my players) for a whole quarter. In the end, we really had to suffer in terms of fatigue.”
Indeed, the Taft-based team’s enviable depth was in full effect as only Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala played more than 30 minutes. They also drew solid showings off the bench, from rookies nonetheless, in Aljun Melecio and Ricci Rivero.
On the other hand, State U needed the best of Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel who played 34.8 and 29.5 minutes, respectively. Their other three starters only combined for 12 points.
Still, that his wards were giving DLSU a good fight and were still in the game inside the last two minutes was nothing but a promising sign – if Perasol is to be believed. “It was really difficult, but despite all those, I think my boys stood their ground against a really formidable team.”
He then continued, “I think that coming from where we came from, if we can face La Salle that way, I think we can face any team.”
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