WE DID NOT LET THE DOGS OUT THIS TIME.
Looking more and more like the championship squad that captured the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup just a few months ago, the De La Salle Green Archers leaned on a 13-point personal scoring streak by sharpshooting rookie Penny Estacio and caged National U 63-58 just this afternoon at the MOA Arena.
Days after pulling the rug under the defending champions UP Maroons, these Archers stormed back into the Arena and faced the second-running Bulldogs, pointing an arrow straight to their snout. The green and white proved that last weekend’s conquest was not a fluke.
Holding on to a small halftime lead at 42-38, La Salle unleashed the bucket beast in rookie Penny Estacio who personally outscored the entire NU team with his 13 third-quarter points. Estacio opened the quarter with a triple, a step-back jumper, another three-pointer from the logo, and a wide-open transition trey to create some separation with the score at 44-33 with 4 minutes to go in the third quarter.
Estacio went 5-for-6 shooting and 3-for-4 from deep in the third quarter alone.
With an 11-point lead entering the final 10 minutes at 48-37, it was another acid test on the ability of the Taft squad to close out.
And like the previous last games, these steady Archers kept their poise.
Showing their newfound end-game poise predicated on precise execution defensively and offensively, the Green Archers survived desperate comeback attacks by National U. Veteran guard Evan Nelle thwarted NU comebacks by canning long bombs to repeatedly hose down small Bulldogs ignitions. A fadeaway J by Earl Abadam, the Kevin Quiambao two-hand slam, and the Motor Mike Phillips post-up shuttled La Salle to safe waters at 60-48 with 2:49 left.
Evan Nelle scored 8 points in the fourth white super rookie Kevin Quiambao, Motor Mike Phillips and Earl Abadam combined for 7.
Offensively, the Green Archers were efficient, for the second straight game, with a 48.8% clip with Estacio leading the score sheet with 13 points while Nelle finished the game with 10. Motor Mike was his usual effective self with 9 points and 11 boards.
As much as the offensive machine was churning, La Salle showed up huge defensively. The defensive-minded Archers broke down the NU offense by denying all their options and forced them to shoot only 32.3% from the field. La Salle capitalized on a team that felt that defensive shakedown by outscoring NU 23-9 in points off turnovers.
The victory improved DLSU’s record to 6-6 and is now tied with Adamson for the mad dash for the Final Four slot.
La Salle will go up against the eliminated UE Red Warriors on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 3pm at the Big Dome.
ANIMO LA SALLE!!!