What a way to start their PCCL campaign...
Southwestern stuns De La Salle in PCCL
By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras overcame a flat start and took charge in overtime to upset the UAAP champions De La Salle Green Archers, 68-58, in their first game of the round-robin Final Four of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Monday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
SWU guard Mac Tallo, a former Green Archer, spearheaded the Cobras’ charge in overtime on his way to a 13-point, six-rebound, and six-assist performance.
Tallo assisted on the go-ahead basket, a booming triple from Melvin Holper with 2:59 to go in the extension that put SWU ahead 61-56. After two free throws by Thomas Torres put La Salle within striking distance, Tallo again found Holper beyond the arc for another triple.
Tallo also assisted on the dagger, finding team captain Monbert Arong in the corner for a three-pointer that made it 67-58 with 1:17 to go.
La Salle had a chance to cut into the deficit, but Jeron Teng and Almond Vosotros’ close-range attempts were bothered by SWU center Landry Sanjo, who had given the Cobras a tremendous defensive effort all game after struggling to find his touch on offense.
“Ang dami kong sacrifices na ginawa and it paid off,” said Tallo, who played for La Salle for one season before abruptly leaving and returning to his hometown of Cebu. “Nagpapasalamat ako na nakalaban ko ulit sila, at nag-improve din ako.”
The Cobras could not find their mark in the opening quarter, and had several scoring droughts while La Salle leaned on Jason Perkins to take a 16-9 first quarter lead.
But behind a full court press, the Cobras clawed their way back in the game in the second frame, coming to within three points, 23-26, after a lay-up by Arong. La Salle ended the first half strong, however, with Torres getting a lay-up and Robert Bolick making two free throws to put the Archers ahead, 30-23, at the break.
Arong came alive in the third quarter, while the SWU defense held La Salle to only six points in the period. SWU took their first lead of the second half with 6:58 left in the game off a corner three by Holper, and an Arong jumper made it 46-43 with 5:48 left.
La Salle was unable to connect on their field goals, but they were able to cut into the deficit thanks to their free throw shooting.
After freebies by Sanjo put SWU ahead, 52-49, with 1:24 to go, Jason Perkins scored on a lay-up, and Teng split his charities, to tie the contest with just 46 seconds remaining.
Sanjo then missed a potential game-winner for SWU. Vosotros' field goal was short, and Perkins could not convert the putback, sending the game to an extra five minutes.
La Salle kept in step with SWU for the first couple of minutes of overtime, but could not respond when the Cobras began finding their range from beyond the arc.