ARNOLD Van Opstal scored 16 points while coming up with big plays in the crucial stretch to lift La Salle to a 69-62 victory over University of the East on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan to start its buildup for the UAAP season on a high note.
Van Opstal hit a follow-up shot then blocked a Roi Sumang lay-up to spark the Green Archers in the endgame of the Filoil Cup match, beating a hard-fighting Red Warriors squad and spoiling the debut of recently-hired head coach Derrick Pumaren.
Almond Vosotros’ airball was picked up by an unguarded Van Opstal with 33 seconds left in the game, giving La Salle a 65-62 edge.
Sumang tried to answer back but Van Opstal made a defensive play to keep UE at bay. Almond Vosotros converted two free throws with 12.3 seconds to settle the score.
La Salle coach Juno Sauler was quick to play down the victory over the defending Filoil champions.
“It’s not really the match against UE but seeing where we are in terms of our preparation and seeing what we need to fix with two months before the UAAP starts,” said Sauler, whose team missed Jason Perkins due to an injury.
Cameroonian swingman Moustapha Arafat sparked UE in the third quarter as he led a 9-2 finish to give the Warriors a 53-49 lead.
UE, however, sputtered and was outscored by La Salle, 20-9, in the final period.
Thomas Torres had 12 points while Vosotros added 10 markers for the Green Archers.
Roi Sumang topscored for UE with 15 points while Arafat added 12 markers, eight rebounds, and four blocks.
DLSU (69) – Van Opstal 16, T. Torres 12, Vosotros 10, Teng 8, Salem 5, Andrada 4, Montalbo 4, Rivero 2, N. Torres 2, Tratter 2, Mustre 2,Dela Paz 2, Sargent 0.
UE (62) – Sumang 15, Arafat 12, Gallanza 7, Olayon 7, Palma 6, Javier 5, Varilla 3, Alberto 3, Caparida 2, Charcos 2, Jumao-as 0, De Leon 0, Hernandez 0.
Quarterscores: 20-10; 32-28; 49-53; 69-62.