PBA D-League

‘Winning culture’: Perfect La Salle bags historic 3rd straight D-League crown

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

‘Winning culture’: Perfect La Salle bags historic 3rd straight D-League crown

DOMINANT. The La Salle Green Archers celebrate another PBA D-League title run.


The La Salle Green Archers become only the second team in PBA D-League history to bag three straight championships, even winning all their games this conference by double figures

MANILA, Philippines – There were barely any doubts in La Salle’s third straight PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup conquest. 

“This is what we want, a winning culture,” said Green Archers’ assistant coach Gian Nazario.

The EcoOil-DLSU Green Archers punctuated their tournament rampage with a dominant sweep of the CEU Scorpions, 96-66, in Game 2 of their best-of-three title series on Thursday, May 9, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

“Ever since coach Topex (Robinson) came in, the culture changed. We just want to tag along with what coach Topex wants, and as you see, it bears fruit,” added Nazario, who called the shots for the Green Archers in the tournament. 

Despite playing without UAAP MVP Kevin Quiambao throughout the tournament, La Salle’s third straight crown iced what was a seemingly easy run for the Green Archers, who won all their games by double digits. 

“The strength of one is a strength of all. So with or without KQ (Quiambao), we know what this team is capable of doing,” said Nazario of the reigning UAAP men’s basketball champions.

La Salle became only the second team in league history to win three consecutive titles after the NLEX Road Warriors’ four-peat run from 2011 to 2013. 

CJ Austria led the Archers with 19 points while JC Macalalag scorched hot with 17 markers on 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point line.

Raven Cortez also chipped in 12 points and 9 rebounds, while tournament MVP Mike Phillips added a double-double of 11 markers and 10 boards. 

“We faced a different level of competition here. I want to give so much respect about this CEU team,” said Phillips, who has been part of DLSU’s D-League three-peat.

“They played really hard so their talent level challenged us,” he added.

“We just had to stay together throughout the tournament. We never left anyone hanging on the court and stay connected as a team.”

CEU mounted a rally midway through the third quarter to cut the lead to 12, before Jonnel Policarpio doused water on the Scorpions’ run with back-to-back threes, regaining control until the final buzzer. 

Meanwhile, Franz Diaz put up 14 points for CEU, while Daniel Marcelo and Jayson Puray fired 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the losing effort.

The Scorpions ended the classification round as the second seed behind La Salle, before outdueling the reigning NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions in a best-of-three semifinal series. 

Prior to this season, CEU last made the PBA D-League finals in the 2019 Aspirants’ Cup, losing to the then Thirdy Ravena-led Ateneo Blue Eagles. 

The Scores

DLSU 96 – Austria 19, Macalalag 17, Cortez 12, Phillips 11, Agunanne 10, Abadam 7, David 5, Marasigan 3, Gollena 3, Policarpio 3, Allan 2, Buensalida 2, Romero 2, Gaspay 0, Rubico 0.

CEU 66 – Diaz 14, Marcelo 13, Puray 12, Darbin 9, Bernabe 6, Gamboa 6, Guevarra 5, Santos 1, De Guzman 0, Benitez 0, Malicana 0, Mendoza 0, Serrano 0.

Quarters: 33-16, 47-30, 66-47, 96-66.

– Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!