Archers advance to Finals after fighting off feisty Falcons

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 23, 2016 06:28 PM
Archers advance to Finals after fighting off feisty Falcons
RESCUE ME. DLSU needed all the best of Jeron Teng to barge into the Finals.

De La Salle University had Adamson University breathing down its neck for all of their matchup in the Final Four of the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Green Archers, however, had something their upstart challengers didn’t have.

Jeron Teng proved his clutch credentials anew and the Green Archers outsmarted the young Soaring Falcons for a 69-64 decision on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.

Their team captain fired 11 of his 25 points in the pivotal period and their defense stood strong in the last two minutes as DLSU did not let their twice-to-beat advantage go to waste. “We didn’t want to prolong it any longer. We just wanted to play in the Finals,” he expressed in the post-win interview.

Pulling off a hardfought victory versus its deserving foes, the Taft-based team will now move onto the Finals where they will wait the winner between twice-to-beat Ateneo de Manila University and defending champion Far Eastern University.

The two teams were going toe-to-toe from the get-go until the Archers rode a 12-1 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 37-29 lead in the second.

Young yet hungry, Adamson kept coming and were only behind by one point inside the last three minutes until Teng’s short stab widened the margin again for DLSU at 67-64.

The Falcons had a golden opportunity to come right back only to muff on four triple tries in a row and turn the ball over. They again forced a couple of defensive stops only to see Dawn Ochea and Jerrick Ahanmisi’s long-range bombs fall short of the ring.

Making good on the chances their opponents couldn’t, the King Archer kept Adamson at bay for good with two free throws.

Ben Mbala had 21 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists to backstop Teng. They were the only reasons DLSU came out on top as Ayo said, “I’m hesitant to congratulate (the players) because it was a horrible game for us. Very unfortunate na ngayon pa nangyari ito during the Final Four.”

The one-time NCAA champion coach was talking about the Archers’ three assists compared to their 26 turnovers.

Adamson took care of the ball much better and only had 15 errors in the face of Ayo’s mayhem. Not having a closer in the mold of Teng, however, they bowed out of competition.

Sean Manganti paced the Falcons with 13 points. With no graduating player, however, many expect them to be right back where they are next season.

BOX SCORES

DLSU 69 – Teng 25, Mbala 21, Torres 6, Melecio 6, Tratter 4, Montalbo 3, Rivero P 2, Rivero R 2, Caracut 0, Paraiso 0, Perkins 0

ADAMSON 64 – Manganti 13, Manalang 12, Sarr 11, Ahanmisi 9, Espeleta 9, Ochea 5, Tungcab 3, Bernardo 2, Mustre 0, Paranada 0, Camacho 0, Barrera 0, Chua 0, Ng 0

QUARTER SCORES: 22-20, 37-33, 50-51, 69-64

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