Archers end 5-year losing skid vs Eagles

De La Salle University waited five long years to get back at its archrival Ateneo de Manila University in another epic showdown Sunday.

Schonny Winston played the hero’s role in front of a roaring 12,056-strong crowd inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum, hitting crucial back-to-back jumpers with under two minutes left to secure the Green Archers’ 83-78 victory in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.

Winston smoked the Blue Eagles with 25 big points including five in the telling fourth-quarter run of the Taft-based squad, which hiked its win-loss record to 2-1 tied with its victim and National University at second spot behind unbeaten reigning champion University of the Philippines.

The sophomore, scoreless in the first quarter, shot 10-of-21 from the field, dished out six assists, grabbed five rebounds, and had two steals in La Salle’s first win over Ateneo since taking Game 2 of the Season 80 Finals, 92-83, back on 29 November 2017.

“I think the boys worked hard and they believed that they can beat Ateneo,” Green Archer coach Derick Pumaren said.

La Salle sparked a decisive 10-2 blast to turn a 67-70 into a 77-72 lead. After a split on the line by Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso, Winston scored on a jumper.

Forthsky Padrigao, who bled the whole game with a hellish 2-of-18 field goal clip, sank a three in the next play before Winston answered with another jumper for an 81-76 Green Archers advantage with just 1:19 left.

A Bryson Ballungay basket cut Ateneo’s deficit to 78-81 but Padrigao missed a potential long three before Evan Nelle sealed the win for the Green Archers with two charities.

Nelle finished with 10 points.

Ateneo big man and reigning Most Valuable Player Ange Kouame had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his first taste of defeat against La Salle.

Ballungay got 19 points, Bryan Andrade got eight while PAdrigao was shackled to only seven points for the Blue Eagles.

Meanwhile, National University overcame a late fourth-quarter uprising by University of Santo Tomas to escape with a 69-63 victory.

Rookie Kean Baclaan dropped 16 points and seven assists but it was John Lloyd Clemente’s steady hands at the foul line that secured the Bulldogs’ return into the win column for a 2-1 record.

A seven-minute scoring drought and a 19-5 rally by the Tigers saw the Bulldogs’ 18-point lead dwindle to 67-63 after UST sniper Nic Cabanero sank a contested triple with 10.3 seconds left.

Clemente calmly swished two charities in the last 7.6 seconds to seal the victory.

“Lucky, we got that win. UST is really a dangerous team, they kept fighting until the end,” NU coach Jeff Napa said.

Clemente posted 16 markers including a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Omar John had eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who held a 57-42 lead heading into the payoff period.

Baclaan gave NU its biggest lead, 62-44, with a triple in the last 8:03 of the game before the Bulldogs went scoreless in the next seven minutes.

John hammered down a two-handed slam dunk with just 53.4 seconds left to snap UST’s 10-0 tear.

Adama Faye had a double-double for the Tigers with 20 points and 10 boards while Cabanero finished with 16 but missed three of his crucial seven free throws in the fourth quarter.

The scores:

First Game:

NU (69) — Baclaan 16, Clemente 16, Omar 8, Malonzo 8, Figueroa 7, Padrones 4, Yu 3, Minerva 3, Mahinay 2, Manansala 2, Palacielo 0, Galinato 0, Tibayan 0.

UST (63) — Faye 20, Cabañero 16, Pangilinan 9, Garing 8, Manaytay 3, Calimag 3, Laure 2, Lazarte 2, Mantua 0, Duremdes 0, Herrera 0.

QUARTERS: 16-14, 35-23, 57-42, 69-63


Second Game:

DLSU (83) — Winston 25, Nelle 10, Cortez 8, Quiambao 7, Abadam 7, M. Phillips 6, Austria 6, B. Phillips 6, Estacio 5, Nwankwo 3, Nonoy 0, Manuel 0.

Ateneo (78) — Kouame 22, Ballungay 19, Andrade 8, Ildefonso 7, Padrigao 7, Gomez 5, Lazaro 4, Garcia 3, Chiu 2, Koon 1, Daves 0, Quitevis 0.

QUARTERS: 18-28, 46-47, 64-62, 83-78.

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