By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The EcoOil De La Salle University Green Archers capped off its amazing 2022 PBA D-League run with a championship title after blasting Marinerong Pilipino in the deciding Game 3, 91-78, held at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
After going down early in the series when tournament MVP Juan Gomez de Liaño broke their hearts in Game 1, the Green Archers stormed back and won two-straight games against the stacked lineup of Marinero.
MVP candidate Michael Phillips saved the best for last and dominated the stat sheet with 15 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
It was Phillips’ energy and hustle that fired up the whole DLSU squad and immediately established a 21-9 lead that led to a Marinero timeout.
Despite defensive adjustments from Marinero, the Green Archers’ crisp ball movement still picked them apart which paved the way for DLSU’s 21-point lead, 74-53.
It was a collective effort from the young DLSU squad as the backcourt duo of Schonny Winston and Mark Nonoy sparked their offensive run late in the third quarter.
Winston contributed 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the white and green while the former Hua Siong College of Iloilo Red Phoenix superstar Nonoy chipped in 15 points built from three treys.
De Liaño attempted to weather the storm for Marinero after his personal scoring run cut the double-digit deficit to just nine, 77-68, with 5:38 left in the game.
However, one last run from the Green Archers spoiled de Liaño’s scoring clinic led by clutch baskets from Phillips and Evan Nelle.
“As I told the boys kanina, this is part of the program, this is part of the process. If we’re gonna bring our A-game, we got to bring it in today’s game,” said coach Derick Pumaren.