In the middle of a rebuild, the De La Salle University Green Archers were led by a senior.
Andrei Caracut was insatiable all game long, powering the Green Archers to a rousing 72-49 romp of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers to open their 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup campaign, Sunday afternoon.
This is the first time this batch of Green Archers, who are figured in Group A, were in the public eye this summer. And it was a sensational debut for La Salle, a squad that changed coaches last January.
“For me and for the rest of the staff, the most important is that we are on the same stage. We are still trying to prove that the players that it is not just about one player,” said new head coach Gian Nazario.
After a slow first quarter, Caracut took it upon himself to lead La Salle’s offense, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the first half to help the Green Archers gain a double-digit cushion that they would not surrender.
“Today’s game, they were able to follow the game plan, which is to crash the boards. The number of threes UST is taking in a game alarmed us,” he said.
“We needed to take away their three-point shots. We really appreciate how they followed our plan even if we have just been here for the last two months,” the former DLSZ assistant coach added.
Justine Baltazar, Encho Serrano, and Joaqui Manuel managed to sustain the momentum in the second half.
Baltazar tallied a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two swats. Manuel and Serrano had nine markers each.
UST were limited to just two threes the entire game, a far cry from their numbers in the PBA D-League.
Soulemane Chabi Yo paced the Growling Tigers with 16 points and 17 boards. Former CESAFI Juniors MVP Dave Ando added 12 points and 15 rebounds.
La Salle will next face the UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, May 12 at 4:00 pm. On the other hand, UST will take on the CEU Scorpions on the same day at 5:45 pm.
DLSU 72 — Caracut 19, Baltazar 10, Serrano 9, Manuel 9, Lojera 6, Melecio 5, Cu 5, Capacio 5, Bartlett 2, Manaytay 2, Bates 0, Lim 0, Escandor 0, Bonggay 0.
UST 49 — Chabi Yo 16, Ando 12, Concepcion 5, Subido 4, Bataller 4, Lee 3, Huang 2, Abando 2, Nonoy 1, Paraiso 0, Tarranza 0, Marcos 0, Pangilinan 0.
Quarterscores: 11-12, 39-27, 56-35, 72-49.