FINALS HERE WE COME!
The De La Salle Green Archers orchestrated a basketball symphony, flawlessly executing their game plan to secure an emphatic 97-73 victory over the National U Bulldogs at the Araneta Coliseum, punching their long-awaited ticket to the finals.
“It was a result of superb scouting from the coaching staff” shared Evan Nelle during the post-game presscon. And with that thorough and well-thought-out game plan, Coach Topex simply used the right tools at the right time.
With surgical precision on defense, the Archers meticulously dismantled NU’s offense, rendering their prized import, Omar John, a non-factor throughout the game. La Salle’s suffocating perimeter defense constrained the Bulldogs to an anemic 2-of-27 shooting from beyond the arc, marking a meager 7.4% three-point shooting, while erecting an impenetrable barrier in the shaded lane.
In a display of strategic brilliance, the Archers capitalized on fastbreak opportunities and dominated the boards, amassing a staggering 20-11 advantage in second-chance points, illustrating their relentless pursuit of every scoring opportunity.
Junel Policarpio emerged as the catalyst off the bench, jumpstarting La Salle’s initial surge with a pivotal contribution to the 20-12 run late in the first quarter. Mark Nonoy, ablaze with scoring prowess, extended the lead to 33-24, igniting a flurry of fastbreaks and two critical triples.
Despite NU’s Kean Baclaan finding gaps in the Archers’ defensive scheme, La Salle maintained control, heading into halftime with a 45-36 lead. Post-halftime adjustments, the defensive juggernaut shut down Baclaan, while offensive firepower, fueled by KQ and Evan Nelle’s key three-pointers, alongside Policarpio and Nonoy’s contributions, propelled the Archers to a commanding 65-44 advantage in the third quarter.
Mike Phillips’ basket, courtesy of Policarpio’s feed, stretched the lead to 23 at 67-44, after which La Salle astutely managed the game, fending off NU’s attempts to close the gap.
Mark Nonoy spearheaded the Archers’ scoring with 25 points, complemented by KQ’s 15, and Evan Nelle’s impressive all-around display of 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists.
As the final buzzer resonated, the ANIMO faithful erupted in jubilation, savoring the long-awaited return to the finals after a six-year hiatus. The finals showdown against UP beckons on November 29, 2023, Wednesday, at the MOA Arena.
ANIMO LA SALLE!”