La Salle shoots down FEU to boost Final 4 bid

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Sep 16 2012 06:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2012 05:29 PM

De La Salle's Almond Vosotros drives against the defense of Far Eastern University's Russell Escoto in their second round UAAP Season 75 match-up Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Vosotros scored 21 points and the Green Archers defeated the Tamaraws, 63-56. Photo by Mark Cristino for

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The De La Salle Green Archers took over in the second half to shoot down the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 63-56, and boost their chances of making the Final Four of the UAAP Season 75 men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Almond Vosotros came off the bench to fire 21 points for De La Salle, tying his career-high. It was Vosotros who clinched the victory for the Archers when he drilled a three-point shot off the glass with 2:34 to go to make it 56-49.

It was a crucial victory for De La Salle, who tied the National University (NU) Bulldogs in the league standings with an 8-5 record.

The Archers took control of the contest with a 17-0 run bridging the second and third quarters, which turned an 18-24 deficit into a 35-24 lead.

La Salle led by just two points, 26-24, after the first half, but an incident towards the end of the second quarter fired up the Archers.

After La Salle's Jed Manguera dove for a loose ball near the FEU bench, the Tamaraws' reserve guard Jolas Guerrero was caught throwing the ball towards his head.

Guerrero was assessed a technical foul and Vosotros made two free throws to start the third period as La Salle’s torrid run continued.

The Archers outscored the Tamaraws 16-9 in the third quarter. Only Torrence Romeo was effective for FEU, as the third year guard scored five points in the third to keep the Tams within striking distance.

An up-and-under lay-in from rookie star Jeric Teng gave the Archers a 51-38 lead, but the Tamaraws went on an 11-2 run to make it a 53-49 game with less than three minutes to go.

But Vosotros ended any hopes of an FEU comeback when he drained his third three-pointer of the game, a gutsy shot against the defense of former UAAP Most Valuable Player RR Garcia.

Romeo finished with 26 points, but he was the lone bright spot for the Tamaraws, who sorely missed the services of big men Arvie Bringas and Mark Belo.

Both Bringas and Belo were suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior in the Tamaraws’ previous contest against the University of the Philippines.

With this victory, La Salle boosted its hopes of making the Final Four. They are now tied for a share of fourth place with the Bulldogs, while relagating the Tamaraws to a share of second and third places with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.

Both the Tamaraws and the Tigers have 9-4 records. All four squads have one more game remaining in the elimination round.

The Archers will end their elimination round campaign against the Adamson Falcons on Thursday, and La Salle head coach Gee Abanilla said they will not take the Falcons lightly despite their 3-10 record.

"Adamson is a really strong team," he said. "Our desire to win will be tested on Thursday."

Meanwhile, UST will play its last game against the University of the East on Thursday as well. FEU and NU will meet again for the re-play of their controversial contest on September 23.

The scores:

DLSU 63 - Vosotros 21, Teng 10, Revilla 8, Andrada 7, Van Opstal 6, N. Torres 6, T. Torres 3, Mendoza 2, Webb 0, Manguera 0, Tampus 0

FEU 56 - Romeo 26, Garcia 10, Mendoza 8, Escoto 5, Cruz 3, Tolomia 2, Hargrove 2, Sentcheu 0, Pogoy 0, M. Bringas 0

Quarter-scoring: 11-12, 26-24, 42-33, 63-56