By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers weathered an early storm from the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 83-75, to snap their two-game losing skid in the ongoing UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament last October 21, 2023, held at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Trailing by 11 points after the end of the first half, the Green Archers’ defensive tenacity and improved shot selection propelled them to an insane scoring avalanche to fend off the scary challenge from the Red Warriors.
Raven Cortez answered the call for DLSU head coach Topex Robinson after playing his best game of Season 86 so far, dropping 18 points, five rebounds, and three blocks in just 13 minutes of action.
The Green Archers turned to Cortez when they found the mismatch at the post and just kept on feeding the versatile big man who helped DLSU chip away the lead bit by bit.
DLSU turned on the jets in the third frame after dominating the battle of the boards while putting an emphasis on their need to attack the smaller UE frontcourt.
From a 37-48 deficit, the veteran DLSU squad only needed seven minutes in the third to equalize the ball game at 57-all.
After that momentum-shifting sequence, the Green Archers suddenly sucked the life out of UE and didn’t allow them to retake the advantage until the final period.
Kevin Quiambao continued to put up MVP numbers for the Green Archers and amassed 17 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds.
Also sparking DLSU against UE was the returning floor general Evan Nelle who missed their game against UP due to an injury. The veteran guard had 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
With the win, the Green Archers just finished the first round of the preliminaries with a 4-3 win-loss record and will now go back to the drawing board for the second round.