by Neal Tieng
For a team with a winning tradition, there is no such thing as no-bearing game. Every game matters.
Nothing was at stake in yesterday’s game. Yet the De La Salle Green Archers made sure they ended the season with a loud bang by demolishing the Adamson Falcons in a wire-to-wire fashion 89-63 to wrap up the season with a 7-7 card yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the tremendous pressure off their shoulders, the team in green pummeled the San Marcelino squad from the get-go. After the opening tip, Jaime Orme Malonzo elevated for a slam that started a 10-0 run by La Salle that was capped by triples from Captain Andrei Caracut and Malonzo.
After Adamson coach Franz Pumaren subbed out his starting unit to try to stop the widening gap, the Green Archers just kept on pouring it on to end the first quarter at 25-12.
Underlying the La Salle demolition job was their superb control of the glass, outrebounding Adamson 35-19 in the first half. And when the Green Archers are in this kind of a zone, they are very hard to stop.
La Salle further pushed the lead 50-29 at the half and their consistent shooting from inside and out enabled them to cruise the rest of the way.
The beacon of the Green Archers’ game yesterday was their stellar 3-point shooting at 46.67%, an absolute rebounding machine grabbing 63 compared to Adamson’s 43 and tallying 24 assists in what was a clinic on how to beat a team that thrives on full-court pressure.
Malonzo ended his one-year UAAP stint with 34 points, 12 rebounds and an amazing 57.74% from the field and shooting 58.33% from three-point land. Justine Baltazar chipped in his usual double-double with 14 points and 13 boards while Captain Andrei Caracut tallied 14 points and 6 assists to finish off his UAAP career.
More Questions Than Answers
The win was a solid send-off for Captain Caracut as La Salle is looking forward to the preparation of Season 83. The game also provided a glimpse of what the Green Archers could have been without the frenetic schedule as the team seemed to be just getting better. We just seemed to have run out of games.
One-and-done Fil-am James Laput played significant minutes and his presence provided the needed size to neutralize the imports who punished us inside the paint the whole season.
Malonzo’s game was also on the verge of taking off and team chemistry becoming less and less of an issue after every playdate. We are no longer taking emergency jump shots at the end of the 24 second clock neither have we been groping for a bread and butter play.
All water under the bridge and we have said tweeted, La Salle will battle on.
Until next year.
ANIMO LA SALLE!