UAAP: Winston's offensive explosion 'long overdue,' says La Salle coach

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2022 07:46 PM

UAAP Media.
La Salle's Deschon Winston stretches for a layup against the UST Growling Tigers in their UAAP Season 84 second round game. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas (UST) had no answer for Deschon Winston on Tuesday afternoon, as the De La Salle University guard torched them for a career-best 33 points.

With his mid-range shot falling, Winston burned every defender assigned to him by the UST coaching staff. He was at his best in the third quarter, where he made nine of his 11 attempts for 19 points. By himself, the La Salle guard out-scored the entire UST team which mustered just 15 points.

Behind his explosive scoring, the Green Archers routed the Growling Tigers, 112-83. It was the first time in UAAP Season 84 that a team had breached the century mark. 

So impressive was Winston that La Salle head coach Derrick Pumaren couldn't help but crack a joke after the game.

"Deschon really shot well today, I think he shot like what, 73%. So it's like he cannot miss today," the veteran mentor said.

"The only guy that can stop him was me," he added with a smile.

Indeed, Pumaren opted not to play Winston in the fourth quarter, with La Salle already well in command. It was Evan Nelle who put the finishing touches on their victory, drilling a couple of three-pointers to ensure that there would be no fightback from the Tigers.

For the La Salle coach, Winston's scoring display was a long time coming.

"It's long overdue," said Pumaren, who noted that Winston opened his UAAP career by scoring 22 points against University of the East.

After that game, however, he was held in check. Winston scored in double-digits just twice in the next seven games, and was held to six points on 2-of-13 shooting in their loss to Ateneo de Manila University in the first round. Entering Tuesday's game against UST, the guard averaged just 8.5 points on 32.1% shooting from the field.

"I was expecting anytime that he'll be getting back in his groove again, and in today's game, he showed it again," said Pumaren of Winston. 

"Hopefully, he'll be more consistent in the coming games, 'cause we'll be needing that later on, especially itong mga tough games namin ahead of us," he added.

Winston, for his part, credited his teammates for his super performance. His 33 points are tied for the most scored by a player in a game this season, matching the effort of Far Eastern University rookie RJ Abarrientos.

"It was a team effort. We had 25 assists, so I couldn't have done it without my teammates, finding me and getting me good looks, stuff like that," he said. "I just gotta thank my teammates for continuing to give me the ball while I was on fire."

The Green Archers improved to 6-3 with the win. They will play winless University of the East on Thursday.