After starting the season 0-2, the DLSU Green Archers desperately needed a win, and they got one against the UP Fighting Maroons, triumphing in a 79-67 blowout. Displaying a sense of urgency, the Archers came out to a 16-4 barrage, never letting UP taste the lead. The Maroons put up a fight early on, getting to within four points on a dunk by Alinko Mbah, and within three after a Mike Silungan triple, but Jarelan Tampus created some separation going into halftime, 36-29. One last-ditch fourth quarter run saw the Maroons throw out three straight layups, but Luigi Dela Paz played fireman and cooled UP down, returning a 20-point lead. Dela Paz led the green shirts with 14, while Mike Silungan's volume shooting garnered him 16 markers. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- With UST's win over the Adamson Falcons, the 4-7 DLSU Green Archers are placed in an immensely difficult situation: any subsequent loss in their remaining three games kicks them out, as will any future Growling Tigers win. They haven't won yet in round two, but they snapped a two-game losing streak against this team in the first round. Are the Maroons' UP's slump busters?
- The 2-10 UP Fighting Maroons won't be returning to the Final Four this year, but at least they're going home with a pair of wins. If they can add to that total, especially with a win over DLSU, then what's not to like about this season for them?
DLSU Player to Watch : Perhaps someone out there can explain why Jarelan Tampus has gone from averaging 17 minutes a game to 15.5, with 13 and 12 minute stints against UST and Ateneo, essentially must-win games. That cut in minutes obviously affected his scoring. He hasn't hit double-digit scoring in the second round, and when he came close with nine first half markers versus Ateneo, he wound up scoring 0 from that point on. The horrendous UP defense makes this a prime candidate for him to have a bounce-back game, but who knows? He could just as easily spend ten listless minutes on the court before riding the bench.
UP Player to Watch : Jelo Montecastro is another member of the horrible regression club. After norming 9.29 points in the first half of the season with three double-digit scoring games to his name, he now has a second-round average of just four points, with nary a double-digit game in sight. Montecastro excels on the break, where he's a tremendous finisher, but he struggles in the half court, with an erratic jumper and no confidence to shoot from outside. If La Salle turns this into a run and gun affair, maybe this former Blazer can regain his groove.
Prediction: DLSU Green Archers