UAAP: ‘Doing your best’ helps La Salle finally end the long slide against the opponent

La Salle Green Archers and Ateneo Blue Eagles.

La Salle Green Archers and Ateneo Blue Eagles. Tristan Tamayo’s photo /

MANILA, Philippines – La Salle coach Derick Pumaren gave the numbers 2017 and seven during their practice session ahead of their match against Ateneo in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament to remind the Blue Archers as they won the last win against the Blue Eagles.

It has been five years and seven consecutive losses. Pumaren used those numbers as motivation and the Green Archers finally ended that long drought and settle the first loss of the season of the Blue Eagles83-78, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum

The last time La Salle came out with a win in the highly anticipated match was on November 29, 2017 in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Finals, when Ben Mbala was still playing with Ricci Rivero.

“The other day in practice, I showed them number 2017, and number seven, that was the last time La Salle won. We lost to Ateneo seven times in a row. It’s an added incentive for the boys. Most of them are new so they will realize what is in store, what is at stake at the moment,” said La Salle coach, who took over the coaching chair last season, said.

“They really went all out to get this win. This hard-earned victory. Hi Ateneo, we know it’s not a normal team, we know they fought hard. In fact, we were killed in the counterattacks of the attack.. We have to fix that. “


La Salle's Schonny Winston leads the Green Archers past Ateneo.

La Salle’s Schonny Winston leads the Green Archers past Ateneo.
Tristan Tamayo’s photo /

Schonny Winston notched 25 points, six assists and five rebounds but coach La Salle credited his entire squad for the sublimation, especially Raven Cortez and Earl Abadam, who had contributed solid numbers from the bench.

“For us to win and beat Ateneo, it has to be an all-out effort. When your number is called, you have to be ready and so Raven steps up when his number is called and steps up to the challenge. He was able to show what he could do. Earl, firmly in today’s game. He was able to do his job, he didn’t panic. And he played like a veteran today. Hopefully, he can continue in the season, these guys will help us,” said Pumaren.

Although they took the lead, 63-41 and suffered 36 goals in attack, the Green Archers’ defense worked wonders as they held the Blue Eagles to 29 of 89 shots and forced them to give up. missed at the end of the game.

“It was one of the game plans we did, guarding the perimeter. I think they shot most of the three points in the first inning but in the next three quarters I think the boys really did a good job of containing and defending the three-pointers,” said Pumaren. “I think they were able to adjust, top pick and launch and try to get Padrigao out of his comfort zone, I think we were able to do that.”

After his momentum worked for La Salle, Pumaren says they can’t waste this big win In their quest for the title this season, they need a win over the University of the East (1-2) on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“This victory means nothing if we don’t care about the business against UE. This victory means nothing. We can’t be happy about this win, too happy about this win. I know we were too happy for eight games, in the end La Salle won against Ateneo. But it’s not a championship. That’s not why we’re here,” he said. “The season is still too early. There’s nothing really worth celebrating, stay focused, stay on track and you’ll be able to take on the business. We do not underestimate them.”

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