MANILA, Philippines — Rookie Jason Perkins catalyzed a late run to spark De La Salle University to an impressive 96-84 win over University of the Philippines to break into the win column of the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the Fighting Maroons breathing down their necks, the hardworking big man scored 8 straight points to break UP’s back and finished the game with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The win allowed the Green Archers to bounce back from an opening-day loss to Season 75 finalist University of Santo Tomas.
“We had first game jitters in our last game,” said sophomore forward Jeron Teng, who added 20 points for La Salle. “We are still getting used to coach Juno (Sauler)’s system.”
The Archers got off to a rousing start, firing a 14-2 opening blast behind Teng, Thomas Torres and Almond Vosotros to build a double-digit early in the match.
But the Maroons slowly chipped away at La Salle’s lead before tying the match off the third triple of Henry Asilum at 44-all with 1:35 left in the second period.
The Archers then dropped 4 unanswered points to close the period then extended it to a 14-5 salvo in the 3rd to break the game open, 61-49.
However, like in their first game, UP did not give up easily, closing in to 78-74 after yet another triple by Asilum.
But that would prove to be their last stand as La Salle dropped one more bomb — an 10-4 blitz — that gave them an 88-78 advantage.
After a lackluster shooting night on Saturday, the Archers proved to be on-target this time, making 47.5% of their shots and 7 of 12 attempts from rainbow territory.
The Taft-based squad also lorded it on the boards, grabbing 51 rebounds to the Diliman crew’s 32. UP was also outrebounded by Adamson, 53-29, in their Sunday loss.
Vosotros finished with 15 points while Norbert and Thomas Torres each pitched in 14 for La Salle (1-1).
Meanwhile, Sam Marata paced the Maroons once again with 21 points even as Kyles Lao became the first rookie in Season 76 to break double-figures with 18 points. – Rappler.com