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Sauler calls for Green Archers to step up for Teng



Saturday was supposed to be a drive-by for the De La Salle University Green Archers in the eyes of the La Salle faithful. But just as all the coaches in the UAAP say, there are no day-offs in the league.

Against the Adamson University Soaring Falcons last Saturday, the Green Archers held a 16-point lead, 57-41, with 4:28 left in the third quarter. The Taft Cagers though were sent into the penalty 16 seconds later that gave the San Marcelino cagers momentum to enter the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, Adamson head coach Mike Fermin switched his team’s defense plan from a fullcourt press to a 2-3 zone that forced the Archers to shoot from the perimeter. Moreover, the defensive switch-up limited Teng to just four points in the final quarter after scoring 18 points in the first three quarters. With the La Salle’s outside shots not falling and the momentum gained the Falcons, Adamson was able to pull off one of the biggest upsets this season, 75-74.

After the game, Tiebreaker Times was able to speak to La Salle head coach Juno Sauler. Sauler opened in saying, “Our shots were not falling in the fourth quarter.” During the final frame of that game, the Archers shot just 5/20 from the field, majority coming from the three-point range, 2/12. Humble in defeat, Sauler commended the spirit of the young Falcons squad in saying, “they just kept fighting and they never gave up.”

Part of the struggles of La Salle in the game was the off-night of star rookie Andrei Caracut. Caracut just returned from an allergy attack that caused the rookie to miss several games. During this game, Caracut’s timing was off as he limited himself to shooting from the perimeter and only attempted three shots inside. “He looked good in practice and he’s 100%,” Sauler said of his rookie. “He has been shooting well in practice and the shots he was taking was open. It just did not fall in.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Sauler calls for Green Archers to step up for Teng

Looking back in La Salle’s five losses, the common denominator was how Teng, who is second in the league in scoring with an average of 18 markers, has been limited by the opposing defense in the fourth quarter. During those five games, Teng is just averaging four points in the final frame on a combined 8/22 shooting. “The opponents defense siyempre is adjusting on him,” he answered when asked about it. “They are really focusing on Jeron especially in the fourth quarter.” The challenge for the team is to find who will step up for Teng in the most crucial points of the game. “Other guys have to step up for him.”

With just four games remaining, Sauler disclosed that his team should just stick to the system. “Not really desperation, we just have to keep playing the way we should be playing and we’ll be good,” he closed.