By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers kicked off their UAAP Season 86 second-round men’s basketball tournament with a 31-point drubbing of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 100-69, last October 25, 2023, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
This season’s top candidate for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, Kevin Quiambao, asserted his mastery over the struggling Growling Tigers and dominated his way to an all-around efficient performance.
The versatile swingman stuffed the stat sheets and finished the ball game with 22 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, five steals, and a block.
From the get-go, Quiambao immediately imposed his will and bullied every UST defender that was thrown at him.
Despite the tight coverages UST head coach Pido Jarencio deployed on Quiambao, the DLSU superstar still found a way to score the bucket and frustrate the Growling Tigers midway through the second quarter.
UST was still keeping themselves within striking distance after the first quarter as they managed to keep the deficit within single digits.
However, after Quiambao, Evan Nelle, JC Macalalag, and Raven Cortez got hot with only five minutes remaining in the second period, the Green Archers started to smell blood and headed to halftime with a double-digit advantage.
It was then all Green Archers in the last two frames as they stepped on the gas pedal and swelled their cushion to as much as 31 points, leaving the struggling UST squad with another disappointing loss.
Two-way Rookie Jonnel Policarpio backstopped Quiambao and delivered his best game for DLSU so far with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists.
On the other hand, the Growling Tigers were boosted by Nic Cabañero’s 13-point production to go alongside six assists and five rebounds but needed more help in the scoring department.
The Green Archers will look to sustain their momentum against the National University (NU) Bulldogs this coming Saturday as they aim for redemption after absorbing a loss from the white and blue nation in the first round.