The Games that Play Us: Broken Shafts

Maui Villanueva and the Archers are headed for
the goodbye highway.
(image by Diana Moraleda/

NU Bulldogs over the DLSU Green Archers, 56-40

I don’t want to say that the DLSU fans were shocked that their team got booted out of the Final Four picture so unceremoniously by the NU Bulldogs. Because, honestly, they had to see this one coming. They had to know that this ship was sinking and that they had to divide themselves into heaven-knows-what-number.

Well, La Salle’s ship has sunk, and divided they will be.

It might be a bigger shock to the Taft faithful if this roster – players AND coaches –
stays intact next season. Surely, a major shuffling is to follow. Sunday’s tussle with the Tamaraws, who are still playing for the other twice-to-beat edge, might be the farewell fight for coach Dindo Pumaren, Tonichi Yturri, and Jack Santiago et al. I also wouldn’t be surprised if not a few of the players get demoted to Team B or, worse, suffer the fates of former comrades Joel Tolentino and Gab Banal.

Any takers for DLSU’s surplus parts?

But man, oh man, what a way to bow out for Gang Green.

A glance at the stat-sheet might suggest a heck of a game for La Salle. They had 19 more shot attempts, 7 more rebounds, 3 more assists and 1 more block than NU. They would’ve certainly made the most of those advantages and ended up winning, right?

No. Hell no.

Emmanuel Mbe and the Bulldogs denied DLSU
a crack at the Final Four.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Not with the team shooting 24.6% from the field. Not with them making just 2 of their 20 triple-attempts. Not when they only had 9 free-throw attempts because they were too busy chucking jumpers. Not when they coughed up 24 turnovers. And certainly not when they scored in single digits in two of the four periods.

Is this really La Salle, or did someone switch the UP team with them? What the hell?

It could’ve been a golden chance to pounce on the hapless Bulldogs, who got blasted by the Eagles in their last game, and got shackled to a 7-year low 39 points. Instead, it was the Bulldogs who seemed hungrier. It was the Bulldogs who seemed like they were still fighting for the Final Four. This time it was the Bulldogs who limited their foes’ scoring – 40 points, just a point shy of the lowest total by any team for the season.

Ray Parks filled up the stat-sheet yet again.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Of course Ray Parks was the big reason NU won this one. He pumped in 25 markers on the strength of 3 treys and making 10 of his 12 charities. He also grabbed 9 boards, dished out 4 assists, had a steal and a block. He was an all-around monster, but who didn’t expect that anyway?

What people didn’t expect was how badly the Archers shot in such an important match. Almond Vosotros was the only one who finished in double-figures at 16 points, but he only scored 1 point in the last two quarters. The rest of his teammates were shooting with broken shafts. With the exception of Mark Mendoza and Maui Villanueva, both of whom were 1-of-1 from the field, EVERYONE else on the DLSU roster made less than half of his attempts. And only Vosotros made more than 2. That’s 9-of-51 from the La Salle squad minus those 3 aforementioned cagers.

Almond Vosotros was the lone bright spot in
an ocean of grim darkness for La Salle.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
Insane, right? Yes, which is why the winds, or tempests, of change can already be felt this early.

In other news, Tim Cone just resigned from Alaska and is looking for work. Just saying.

NU 56 – Parks 25, Mbe 7, Javillonar 7, Neypes 5, Singh 4, Alolino 2, Celda 2, Labing-isa 2, Villamor 2, Khobuntin 0, Magat 0, Roño 0
DLSU 40 – Vosotros 16, dela Paz 4, Atkins 4, Paredes 4, Torres 3, Marata 3, Villanueva 2, Revilla 2, Mendoza 2, Van Opstal 0, Tampus 0, Gotladera 0
QS: 17-15, 26-22, 32-35, 56-40

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2 Comment

Man, terrible season for them eh? And I thought Van Opstal had decent post moves. He played well in that AdMU-DLSU game in the 2nd round...


Tim Cone's resignation is suspiciously impeccably timely.. I wouldn't be surprised if it secretly already had been a done deal months prior, like the LeBron-to-Miami signing...