Taking revenge against the defending champions University of Perpetual Help System Jonelta – GMA (UPHSJ-GMA), the DLSU-D cagers secured the finals’ ticket as they successfully retaliated from UPHSD-GMA Blue Saints, 79-67, in their do-or-die match in the Private Schools Athletics Association (PRISAA) – Provincials basketball league held at the Ugnayang La Salle (ULS), yesterday, November 29.
“Ngayon naka-setup kami ng maayos at tumakbo ‘yung plays namin although nag-che-change defense ‘yung kalaban, naging alerto ‘yung players natin,” Patriots head coach Rodel Mercado said.
The Blue Saints presented a good scoring rhythm in first minutes of the game, 9-2, but the Patriot cagers managed to cut their deficit to three in the end of the first canto, 17-20.
Shifting the momentum, Patriots forced a 16-6 run in the second quarter through Egie Boy Mojica, Luke Parcero, and Jonas de Vera’s aggressiveness that wrecked UPHSJ-GMA’s defense.
As the third period commenced, the Blue Saints restored their smart plays with the effort of their key player, Alvin Celada, who produced a 12-point outburst that pushed his teammates to draw the scores near, 59-57.
Establishing the road to the finals’ stage even with his concussion, Patriot standout Luke Parcero fired a buzzer beating shot from downtown at 2:14 to extend the lead to seven points, 74-67. The green-and-white squad’s defense casted a scoreless spell to the Blue Saints as the game concluded a high note for the Patriots, 79-67.
“Ang nag-boost lang talaga sa ‘kin ay ‘yung teammates ko lang na [nagsabing] ‘wag kaming sumuko … kahit [may] injury ako. Itinuloy ko pa rin kahit masakit, basta para sa team, tinuloy ko lang,” Parcero said.