La Salle rallies to beat San Beda, wins FilOil tourney
MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle Green Archers rallied from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter and showed championship composure in crunch time, outlasting the San Beda Red Lions, 71-66, to win the 2014 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Sunday at the San Juan Arena.
In a battle between the reigning UAAP and NCAA champions, it was the Green Archers who wound up triumphant, led by veteran guard Almond Vosotros who scored 18 points along with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
La Salle was down by as much as 12 points, 54-42, as San Beda feasted on their turnovers for easy baskets and broke down the Green Archers’ interior defense for points in the paint.
The Green Archers entered the fourth quarter down by eight, 48-56, but a turnaround jumper by Vosotros sparked a 10-0 run capped by a Thomas Torres triple that gave them the lead, 58-56.
San Beda point guard Baser Amer snatched the lead back for his team with a triple in the next possession, and the two squads exchanged leads from that point on.
Another booming triple by Amer broke a 61-all tie and gave San Beda a 64-61 lead with 4:50 to go, but two consecutive inside buckets by Arnold Van Opstal gave La Salle back the lead, 65-64. It was Amer who once again took the initiative, drilling a jumper for a 66-65 San Beda lead.
It proved to be San Beda’s last hurrah of the game, however. A fastbreak lay-up by Jason Perkins gave La Salle a 68-67 lead that they would never relinquish, and Vosotros stole the ball from Ola Adeogun in the next possession to preserve the lead.
San Beda had a golden chance to take back the lead when Ryusei Koga raced to the basket off a steal, but he blew the wide-open lay-up. After a Vosotros miss, Adeogun also misfired on a potential go-ahead basket.
A personal foul by Art dela Cruz forced the Red Lions to go for an intentional foul or risk La Salle running out the clock. Koga fouled Vosotros, who made both free throws to extend the lead, 70-67.
Off a time-out, it was the veteran Vosotros who again made the big play, deflecting a San Beda inbound pass that essentially wrapped up the victory in favor of the UAAP champions.
It was La Salle’s second Filoil championship, having also won the pre-season crown in 2007. The Green Archers now hold the UAAP title, the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title, and the Filoil title.
In the earlier game, the Centro Escolar University Scorpions sealed a third-place finish by routing the Southwestern University Cobras, 73-58.
La Salle star Jeron Teng was later named the Filoil Most Valuable Player.
Teng was named to the tournament’s Mythical Five, along with San Beda’s dela Cruz and Adeogun, CEU’s Rod Ebondo, and SWU’s Landry Sanjo.