Facing basketball aces from the Flag Capital of the Philippines, the DLSU-D cagers showed off their upgraded offense and defense against the Imuseños’ basketball squad as they prepare for future leagues in an exhibition match held at the Imus City Sports Complex, Imus, Cavite, yesterday.
Together with a respectable 46.51 percent team field goal (40 out of 86), two-guard Pacholo Loor helmed the Patriots and fired in five treys while recording 24 on the scoreboards. Meanwhile, Egie Boy Mojica boosted the outbreak by 14 points.
The green-and-white squad also played against Manila schools’ Team B players Hubert Cani from Far Eastern University and former Patriot Yancy Remulla, who’s now shaping his career at Lyceum of the Philippines University – Manila. Contributing to their team, the Former Slam Rising stars MVP (Cani) and Remulla tallied 13 and 11 markers, respectively.
Sharing the spotlight, local players in Imus John Paul Sarao and Norvie Monzon also showcased their talents after producing 15 and 16 points accordingly.
Starting to sense each other’s tactics, the two teams registered a low-scoring first quarter among the clamoring crowd, 15-14. Taking care of business in the second canto, Imuseño Sarao crushed his match-ups and exhibited two consecutive post moves at 11:41 and 11:16 respectively, 20-15. Wiping out the opponents’ growing momentum, Patriot big man Bandrich Amponin displayed a three-point as his newly-found weapon and capped a 9-3 run, 24-23. In the next plays, the Patriots committed several turnovers but the Animo squad managed to stay close to their foes as the first half ended, 38-all.
After getting an earful of a lecture from Patriot head coach Arnold Oliveros, the Patriots’ defensive stance went into beast mode as they hooked nine total steals in the third frame—six in the first two minutes. Patriots Dale Gutierrez and Loor led the in-game basketball robbery and forced a double digit lead, 49-38.
Countering the offensive wave, former DLSU-D student Norvie Monzon’s two spontaneous foul-counted circus shots at 54-43 pushed the cushion back to single digits, 54-49. The Imuseños kept the DLSU-D stalwarts at bay, finishing the frame at 61-53.
After being quiet since the first half, Patriots hotshot shooter Loor burst three trifectas at the opening of the fourth quarter while the Imuseños trump card Hubert Cani put his opponents on skates as he tried to charge a turnaround, 72-62.
Trying to complete a comeback, the Imuseños posted a 9-0 run in the endgame, 84-75 but failed to snatch the win as DLSU-D answered with five more points, 89-75, ending the friendly game.
Polished shields and swords
Patriot head coach Oliveros shed some light on the fresh maneuvers of frontcourts Amponin and Christian Loyola to shoot beyond the arc. “Mina-maximize ko every player ko ngayon. Hindi ko sila nili-limit na big man ka dito ka lang [sa paint]’… kaya gano’n sila, nakukuha rin kasi ‘yong kumpiyansa.”
The team also demonstrated their developed defense with the six consecutive steals at the start of the third quarter. “‘Pag sa offense medyo maluwag ako, hinahayaan ko sila mag-decide sa sarili nila. Pero pagdating sa defense, talagang dapat sumunod sila,” Oliveros stated.
However, the former San Beda Red Lion furthered that this is just the beginning. “Long way to go, marami pa kaming kailangang gawin, maraming kailangan i-tackle, kailangan pag-usapan, kailangan ituro sa kanila, marami pa.”
Taking no timeouts, the Patriots will work off their skills against a PBA Developmental league team on January 6, 2017 at the Ugnayang La Salle Gym.