DE La Salle boosted its chances of making the Final Four with a 72-68 win over University of the Philippines on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
By snapping out of a three-game losing streak, the Green Archers raised their record to 6-7 (win-loss) to tie National University for fourth spot entering the final game of the regular season.
Both La Salle and NU will face league-leader Far Eastern University in their final outings of the eliminations - games that should determine the fourth and last qualifier in the semifinals.
“I think it’s the sense of urgency that they showed today,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler when asked about the key to victory. “They showed tremendous heart playing this game.”
Jeron Teng had 20 points while Prince Rivero had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Green Archers, who overcame a three-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter with a big 15-0 run that put them ahead, 69-60.
“The energy started to pick up from there,” said Sauler.
Jett Manuel had 15 points for the Maroons, who dropped to 3-10. UP overcame a 6-19 deficit in the first quarter with a 20-8 turnaround in the second but couldn’t sustain the momentum.
The Maroons were also slapped with a technical foul after Pio Longa was caught wearing the wrong uniform, with the Oblation logo in his shorts located at the right side and not on the left just like the rest of his teammates.
DLSU (72)—Teng 20, Rivero 18, Torres 11, Torralba 8, Caracut 7, Perkins 4, Langston 2, Muyang 2, Go 0.
UP (68)—Manuel 15, Moralde 14, Desiderio 10, Dario 9, Longa 8, Amar 6, Gallarza 2, Kone 2, Vito 2, Harris 0, Jaboneta 0, Juruena 0, Harris 0, Lim 0.
Quarterscores: 19-6, 27-26, 49-52, 72-68.