The Games that Play Us: Still Not Enough

Luigi De la Paz and the Archers proved too much
to handle for the UP Fighting Maroons.
(image by Justin De Jesus/

DLSU Green Archers over the UP Fighting Maroons, 79-67

Someday the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons will be able to stay with a top-tier team for four whole quarters.

Just not today.

Coach Ricky Dandan has some prime pieces at his disposal, but this just isn’t the time yet. If anything, this game showed that the Maroons are still green.

And who showed them just how green?

Fittingly enough, it was De La Salle Green Archers. The Maroons came into the game with a better record than the Archers, but they exited absorbing a beating that was worse than what the score suggested.

In fairness to UP, though, they were able to stay with the Archers for the better part of the first 20 minutes. Hotshot Mike Silungan led UP’s spirited stand, uncorking 13 points and making some good plays for his teammates. At times, it looked he could take on the whole La Salle team on his own. At times, it looked like UP might just deliver an upset. It seemed perhaps like a crystal-ball-ish-vision of the potentially bright not-so-distant future.

And then the present reared its ugly head and pounded the Maroons with a solitary thought: You’re good, but in this league good is just not enough.

Jett Manuel struggled mightily against DLSU,
committing 5 turnovers and missing 7 shots.
(image by Justin De Jesus/
Silungan scored just 3 points the rest of the way as La Salle ran rampant after the break – outscoring UP 23-10 in a disastrous 3rd period for the Diliman five. The lead ballooned to 20 with 10 minutes to go and, though UP made a commendable effort to get back in the game in the 4th, it was clear which was the better team.

This loss brought UP’s deficiencies in stark focus, as they struggled against DLSU’s press, and found scarce offensive options when Silungan’s guns fell silent. On the other hand, the game showed everything good DLSU could do – from the solid interior presence (AVO, Maui Villanueva & Yutien Andrada combined for 30 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks), to their dangerous wingmen (Luigi De la Paz had 14 points, 7 boards and 4 assists, while Jarelan Tampus scored 13 points in just 14 minutes), and the fact that LA Revilla doesn’t have to score a ton for them to win.

Dindo Pumaren is all smiles after snaring his maiden win.
(image by Justin De Jesus/
Coach Dindo Pumaren still played 14 players (still a little too many for my taste), but he can rest knowing he finally got his first S74 win. This win also gives Gang Green some needed momentum against the menacing NU Bulldogs (Thursday) and the brash UE Red Warriors (Sunday).

As for UP, it’s the same old thing – go back to the Human Kinetics Gym and try to sort out what went wrong. They better find the answer fast, though, since tough opposition awaits them on Saturday – the undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles.

DLSU 79 – De la Paz 14, Tampus 13, Van Opstal 13, Andrada 11, Revilla 9, Atkins 7, Villanueva 6, Torres 4, Vosotros 2, Marata 0, Gotladera 0, Sara 0, Mendoza 0, Webb 0
UP 67 – Silungan 16, Mbah 15, Manuel 13, Montecastro 11, Gomez 5, Juruena 4, Gamboa 3, Romero 0, Gingerich 0, Maniego 0, Pascual 0
QS: 20-12, 36-29, 59-39, 79-67

This time around, LA Revilla didn't have to score a bunch of points.
(image by Diana Moraleda/

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