Saturday, October 12, 2013

La Salle claims UAAP 76 crown; beats UST in OT thriller

The De La Salle Green Archers survived an epic overtime match against University of Santo Tomas, 71-69, to win the UAAP Season 76 basketball title on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Almond Vosotros hit the go-ahead basket with 19 seconds left to give the Green Archers their first title since 2007, completing their comeback after losing Game One of the best-of-three series.

La Salle coach Juno Sauler, who took over a few weeks before the start of the season, won the title in his first UAAP head coaching stint.

UST had a chance to close out the game in regulation, but a poorly-run play resulted in an Aljon Mariano miss at the buzzer.

Both teams struggled for points in the extra period, before Jeric Teng hit a turnaround jumper to give the Growling Tigers a 69-67 edge.

His brother, La Salle star Jeron Teng, drove hard on the other end and was fouled by Mariano. Teng split his free throws, before Mariano threw the ball away after getting the rebound.

That set up Vosotros’ jumper to put La Salle ahead for good.

With UST out of timeouts, Karim Abdul missed a hurried shot at the other end, and LA Revilla grabbed the rebound. The pint-sized guard again split his free throws, giving the Growling Tigers one final shot to tie or win the game.

But Abdul’s three-point attempt at the buzzer failed to find the mark, bringing the UAAP basketball title back to Taft.

Jeron Teng won finals Most Valuable Player honors after finishing with 25 points in the deciding game, including 12 in a grueling fourth quarter comeback.

La Salle climbed back from a 15-point deficit in the third period after Teng strapped his team on his back in the fourth despite fighting a case of cramps as he hit big shot after big shot.

Abdul and Jeric Teng scored 26 and 25 points, respectively, to lead UST. The Growling Tigers finished runners-up for the second consecutive year, after losing to Ateneo in the finals last year.



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