The green machine continues to roll. The De La Salle University Green Archers notched their 7th consecutive victory, overpowering the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 86-65. The surging Archers buried the Maroons beneath a deluge of triples, 5 coming from red-hot point guard Almond Vosotros. Vosotros led all scorers with 21 points buttressed by a searing 63% clip from beyond the arc. UP’s JR Gallarza, one of the big surprises of Season 77, was again excellent in the loss, contributing 18 points on a similarly impressive 50% mark from long distance. La Salle’s win streak sees them keep abreast of league leaders and perennial foil ADMU, while UP remains but a win above AdU and last place.
The Fighting Maroons were yet again undone by their league-worst defence, which surrendered 3 consecutive quarters of 20 points or more to the Archers. The Maroons’ season-long inability to get stops was most telling in the third stanza, where UP yielded a back-breaking 28 points, on 61.5% shooting, to the merciless Archers. UP’s third quarter capitulation undid a solid first half of work, which had the Maroons only 6 points behind the Green Archers.
Aside from Almond Vosotros’ torrid shooting, the Archers also leaned on star swingman Jeron Teng and their towering frontline. Teng, in the midst of a career-best year, posted another all-around stat-line with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. DLSU big men Jason Perkins, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres and reserve Abu Tratter abused the undersized Maroons in the paint, scoring 38 inside points to UP’s 24. All in all, La Salle’s frontcourt rotation accounted for 33 points and 33 boards, in another dominant performance.
Fighting Maroon starting center Mark Juruena was a bright spot for the luckless Maroons. The versatile big man stuffed the stat-sheet with a near-triple double of 9 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Juruena also delighted the UP fans in attendance with an oh-so-rare three-pointer midway through the second quarter. Dave Moralde also shone in limited minutes, chipping in an efficient 11 points on 56% from the field, along with 6 boards. Former Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao struggled in yet another game, failing to score in 10 minutes of play – the only UP player to do so.