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Teng sparks, Caracut finishes as La Salle denies UE comeback

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Losing a 17-point lead to an energetic squad in the fourth, the De La Salle University Green Archers notched its first win streak of the UAAP Season as they survive the University of the East Red Warriors, 71-64 held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

The game’s opening four markers accounted for by UE was quickly erased by Jeron Teng’s early assertion within the rim. The fourth year forward scored nine points in the opening period alone, including seven straight in the middle of it to help the Archers build a 13-10 lead. The Red Warriors responded with their usual frantic full court pressure that enabled them to score a 6-0 response to take the lead. However, Larry Muyang and Jeron Teng scored two more buckets in the last 1:22 to give the Green Arches a 17-16 edge after the first.

UE continued its bullying from the entire floor defensive-wise as Ed Charcos piled up the layups from fast break plays. La Salle would respond with good shooting from the foul stripe as they delivered seven points in the quarter alone. In addition, good defense by La Salle limited the Warriors to only five baskets in the quarter as the Taft-based crew built an 11-2 run to end the first half. Larry Muyang scored five markers during the stretch including a solid performance in grabbing the boards.

La Salle displayed its own running game as fast break points also grew for the Green Archers in the third period. UE had a hard time barging into the 8-point lead with Julian Sargent and Lorenzo Navarro doing damage in transition. Moreover, Joshua Torralba scored the first triple for his team with 4 minutes remaining in the third to maintain La Salle’s distance against the Warriors.

Rookie Andrei Caracut punched in two straight triple including a four-point play to build their biggest lead at 58-41. Then came the Red Warriors rally started by Nick Abanto’s inside baskets. UE’s stellar defense limited La Salle to score only two points in the next five minutes while the Red Warriors’ run was fortified with Ed Charcos’ fast break layup and Paul Varilla triple to make it a 60-56 game.
Teng and Caracut then delivered crucial layups to reinstall a comfortable distance and halt UE’s momentum. The Red Warriors had chances with late steals but failed to convert on chances while the Green Archers inked the necessary free throws to ice the game en route to the win.

“It’s a hard win. UE kept battling until the end. When we got the lead to double digits, they still found a way back,” Coach Juno Sauler said after the game. Moreover, he was proud of the end game composure of his guys in saying “It’s a great effort on the part of all the boys, not giving up and playing hard until the final seconds.”

The Green Archers were able to lockdown on stalwart Edson Batiller in limiting him to just two points on an atrocious 0/9 shooting. “We just told Josh [Torralba] and to Julian [Sargent] to defend him,” Sauler simply said about the feat.

Teng, on the other hand, knew that this game was going to be tough. That is why they trained the entire week on how to break the dreaded Pumaren-press. “Siguro kasi we worked on that the entire week. Alam namin pressing team sila. We had 30 [turnovers] but okay naman because of our D.”

Both Jeron Teng and Andrei Caracut topscored for the Archers with 16 markers. Teng added seven boards while the rookie added five. Another rookie stood out for the Taft cagers as Larry Muyang notched a huge double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.

For the Warriors, Nick Abanto led the team with 14 points and eight boards. RR De Leon added 12 points.

As a team, DLSU committed 30 turnovers but the Red Warriors were not able to take advantage of it in scoring just 18 from it. Fortunately for the green and white squad, they shot 37% from the field compared to 32% of their opponents.

The Green Archers (3-2) will next face the UST Growling Tigers (4-1) on Wednesday, September 30 at 4:00pm while the Red Warriors (2-4) will have the UST Tigers as well in their final assignment in the first round on Wednesday, October 7. Both games will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:
DLSU (71) – Caracut 16, Teng 16, Muyang 11, Torres 8, Torralba 7, Perkins 6, Sargent 5, Navarro 2, Rivero 0, Tratter 0.
UE (64) – Abanto 14, De Leon 12, Charcos 8, Varilla 7, Palma 5, Pelenuela 5, Javier 4, Derige 3, Batiller 2, Yu 2, Manalang 0, Sta. Ana 0.
Quarterscores: 17-16, 32-26, 51-41, 71-64

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