MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The De La Salle University Green Archers capped a banner year for their basketball program by beating the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras, 70-61, in Game 2 of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Finals to win their second national title Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.
UAAP Mythical Five member Jason Perkins came up big in the fourth quarter as La Salle completed a sweep of SWU in the best-of-three Finals series, allowing them to win the PCCL crown for the first time since 2008.
“We just tried to be very aggressive on defense,” said La Salle head coach Juno Sauler, who led the Green Archers to the UAAP and PCCL crowns in just his first year at the helm. “We stepped up our intensity, which allowed us to run and get easy baskets in transition.”
Perkins finished with 14 points and 10 boards, while Jeron Teng had 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, and was named Finals Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Teng also delivered the assist to Perkins that allowed La Salle to ice the victory after SWU cut a double-digit lead to just seven points with 40 seconds to go.
Playing with only 11 men due to various injury issues, the Green Archers bucked a slow start and took control of the game with a 13-0 blitz bridging the first and second quarters to turn a 9-13 deficit into a 22-13 lead.
The Green Archers led by double-digits at halftime, 34-22, but starting point guard Thomas Torres was thrown out of the game at the 6:46 mark of the third quarter for throwing a closed fist at the stomach of SWU guard Monbert Arong.
The incident seemed to fire up the Cobras, who were sputtering on offense up to that point. SWU’s unheralded forward Daryl Goloran was the beneficiary of the attention paid to center Landry Sanjo and Mac Tallo, and he responded by making close range baskets that allowed the Cobras to cut into the lead.
The Cobras were able to cut the La Salle lead to only eight points after back-to-back jumpers by Sanjo and Tallo, but committed a blunder in the final second of the third period when they gave up a three-point play to Perkins, allowing the Green Archers to enter the final frame with a 53-42 lead.
But SWU was again able to trim the lead, with Tallo and Sanjo both attacking the basket. A jumper by Goloran allowed the Cobras to come to within five points, 51-56, with still 7:15 to go in the ball game.
The momentum soon shifted in La Salle’s favor, however, when Goloran was called for a personal foul and a technical foul in succession.
Goloran’s foul – his fifth – seemed to be the turning point of the game. Perkins made three free throws, and then made the most of the extra possession as he canned a jumper that doubled La Salle’s lead, 61-51.
La Salle’s lead ballooned to 17 points, 68-51, with under three minutes left, as rookie point guard Robert Bolick took advantage of the lackluster SWU defense to convert a wide-open lay-up on the break.
But SWU, only the second team from the Visayas to make it to the PCCL Finals, did not give up easily. They scored 10 unanswered points, capped by a lay-up by Arong, to make it a 61-68 game with still 40 seconds to go.
Off a timeout, however, Teng found Perkins on a pick-and-pop play, and Perkins responded by draining a jump shot with 18 seconds left to ice the victory.
The PCCL championship was La Salle’s second, as they also won the national title in 2008. It was also their second crown this year after winning the UAAP title.
Sanjo finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cobras, while Tallo added 15 points and six assists.
But the Cobras, who beat La Salle when they first played in the PCCL Final Four, could not repeat their achievement as their run-and-gun offense was repeatedly stymied by the Green Archers.
SWU had actually gotten off to a better start than La Salle, with Tallo finding his range from the perimeter to power SWU to an early 13-9 lead. But their advantage soon fizzled out when La Salle started converting their shots and scoring in transition, and the Cobras were unable to regain their rhythm until it was too late.
DLSU 70 – Teng 16, Vosotros 15, Perkins 14, Reyes 7, Bolick 5, Van Opstal 4, N. Torres 4, T. Torres 3, Tampus 2, Montalbo 0, Salem 0.
SWU 61 – Sanjo 16, Tallo 15, Goloran 12, Arong 10, Mohammad 3, Holper 3, Siewe 2, Bautista 0, Panerio 0, Ortega 0, Bregondo 0.
Quarter-scores: 19-13, 34-22, 53-42, 70-61