'Thank you, other school': La Salle gets help from Ateneo in Final 4 bid

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2022 12:32 AM

Schonny Winston (7) and the Green Archers were given a lift by their archrivals. UAAP Media.
Schonny Winston (7) and the Green Archers were given a lift by their archrivals. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- The De La Salle Green Archers found themselves in the strange position of having to cheer for their arch-rivals on Wednesday night, as their Final 4 hopes in UAAP Season 85 hinged on a victory by the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

La Salle had done its part -- they came alive at the right time to pull away from the University of Santo Tomas, 77-72, and end their elimination round campaign with a 7-7 win-loss record.

But the victory would mean nothing if the Blue Eagles lost to the Adamson Soaring Falcons in their own game on Wednesday afternoon. The Green Archers thus openly rooted for their arch-rivals, with starting point guard Evan Nelle going so far as to say, "Hopefully, one big fight," in his post-game interview.

On Twitter, Schonny Winston said: "For the first time let’s go the other school…"

Ateneo would end up giving La Salle a helping hand: they outlasted the Soaring Falcons, 66-61, to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Final 4. More importantly for the Green Archers, the loss dropped Adamson to 7-7 as well.

"Thank you other school," Winston tweeted, as they will now play the Soaring Falcons in a do-or-die game for the remaining Final 4 berth in Season 85.

Nelle assured that this will be the "first and last" time that he will root for an Ateneo win.

"Wala eh, hindi namin hawak," he pointed out. "We had the chance to control our destiny in the last UE [University of the East] game, but sh*t happens."

La Salle had lost to the Red Warriors in overtime, 80-72, putting them in a must-win situation against the Growling Tigers. 

"Now, umaasa kami sa kanila [Ateneo]. I just hope Adamson loses," Nelle said ahead of the game. "Sana magka-rubber match on Sunday, Saturday, whatever. Mabigyan lang kami ng chance."

The winner of the Adamson-La Salle playoff will go on to play Ateneo in the Final 4, with the Blue Eagles holding a twice-to-beat advantage.