Jeron Teng saved the De La Salle University from a late game meltdown for the second game in a row. This time Teng found Jason Perkins for an open layup with just .6 seconds remaining to give DLSU an 81-79 to eliminate the heavily-favored University of Perpetual Help System Delta (UPHSD) Altas in the 2015 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Bright Akhuitie was unstoppable in the first minutes of the game. Akhuitie scored six of the Altas’ first six points to give UPHSD an early 8-4 lead. However, careless fouls by the Altas defense gave up free throws that helped cut the lead. A jumper by Thomas Torres cut the DLSU deficit to 12-10. With 4:04 remaining, the Las Pinas-based squad were penalized for their fifth foul. Teng, Tratter, Torres, and Perkins eventually gave DLSU a 21-16 lead to end the quarter.
The Archers were able to extend their lead in the second quarter. After a steal by Akhuitie on Tratter that led to a fastbreak dunk with 6:02 remaining, the Taft-based squad caught fire on offense. Andrei Caracut connected with two three pointers in the DLSU rally while Teng continued to be aggressive in going to the paint. DLSU extended their lead to 44-33 entering halftime.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Gabriel Dagangon and Akhuitie paced the Altas offense but could not cut through the lead as Caracut, Teng, and Torres continued to score at will. Fortunately for the Altas, they finally found their offensive groove late in the quarter. Akhuitie took the pressure of scoring and creating for his teammates in a 12-5 rally. The score was 67-60 in favor of DLSU to enter the final quarter.
With the DLSU lead remaining at nine with 5:40 remaining in the final quarter of regulation, it could not have come in a much worse time for Bright Akhuitie to get his fourth foul in the game. Coach Aric del Rosario had no other recourse but to substitute Akhuitie for Prince Eze. It was a fortunate move, however, as Eze scored six of his eight points in an 8-0 run. Eze connected with jumpers from the midrange that Tratter struggled to defend. A reverse layup by Jason Perkins gave DLSU a three-point lead with 2:34 remaining but was eventually erased by a three pointer by Dagangon. Free throws by Perkins and a split by Teng gave the Green and White squad a three point lead with 14.3 seconds remaining. After Teng missed his second free throw, JRU immediately ran that led to a wide open pull-up three pointer by Dagangon, his third three pointer, to tie the game. After a timeout, Teng drove hard to the free throw line and found an open Perkins to score the eventual game-winner with .6 seconds remaining. UPHSD was not able to attempt a shot after as DLSU took an 81-79 win to advance to the semifinals.
Coach Juno Sauler after the game told us that the play was designed for Jeron Teng. Ten was defended well and, fortunately for the Archers, found Perkins for the game-winner. Moreover, when asked about the flexibility of the current roster of DLSU, Sauler jokingly said that “we’ve been watching a lot of Cleveland-Golden State and we’re trying to implement what their doing.”
The DLSU Green Archers next face the FEU Tamaraws in a rematch of last year’s UAAP semifinals on Friday, June 12 at 3:00pm.
DLSU 81 – Teng 19, Torres 18, Tratter 14, Caracut 12, Perkins 11, Torralba 5, Gob 2, Go 0, Sargent 0
UPHSD 79 – Akhuetie 25, Dagangon 23, Ylagan 10, Elorpe 8, Eze 8, Sadiwa 4, Dizon 1, Oliveria 0, Gallardo 0, Coronel 0, Pido 0, Bantayan 0, Cabiltes 0