Archers survive Tigers to keep Final Four hopes alive

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Archers survive Tigers to keep Final Four hopes alive
Evan Nelle

MANILA, Philippines — The DLSU Green Archers uncorked a scoring run in the endgame to shoot down the UST Growling Tigers, 77-72, in UAAP Season 85 men's basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

In a must-win game to keep themselves in the picture for a possible playoff with the Adamson Soaring Falcons for the last spot in the semifinals, the Archers ended the contest with a 17-3 run to finish their elimination round at 7-7.

After UST took a nine-point lead, 69-60, with a Royce Mantua three, the Archers clamped down on the Tigers and limited them to just one field goal in the last 8:26.

The Tigers shot themselves in the foot late in the game when Adama Faye turned the ball over to La Salle with 20.9 left and with UST down by three, 70-73.

Evan Nelle, who made clutch free throws to seal the victory for La Salle, finished with 25 points, four rebounds and four assists.

La Salle will need the Adamson Soaring Falcons to lose to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a game yet to be played as of press time to force the playoff for the last semis spot.

Raven Cortez and Mark Nonoy played supporting role with 13 and 10 markers for La Salle, who played without Kevin Quiambao and Mike Phillips.

"It was a hard-fought ball game. We're missing players again, and I told the guys that it's been a rough season for us. I don't think we played with a complete roster in all our games." said DLSU head coach Derrick Pumaren. 

"I told the guys that sometimes, I question bakit ganoon, 'di ba, why? Maybe God has other plans for us, maybe there's always a reason for everything. We just have to keep playing, just gotta do our part." he added.

Mantua, meanwhile, topped the scoring column for UST with 17 pointswhile Nic Cabanero finished with 16. The Tigers finished the season with a 1-13 slate — losing 13 straight games after winning their season opener.

The scores:

LA SALLE 77 — Nelle 25, Cortez 13, Nonoy 10, B. Phillips 8, Macalalag 6, Austria 5, Estacio 3, Abadam 2, Buensalida 2, Manuel 2, Nwankwo 1, Winston 0.
UST 72 — Mantua 17, Cabanero 16, Calimag 10, Faye 9, Pangilinan 5, Manalang 4, Laure 4, Manaytay 4, Lazarte 3, Duremdes 0, Garing 0, Escobido 0.

Quarters: 21-27, 37-42, 55-59, 77-72.



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