Mammie's return threw Archers off: La Salle coach
MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle head coach Juno Sauler commended his players for pulling out a victory against University of the East (UE), especially as they were thrown for a loop just an hour before the game by the return of center Charles Mammie.
Mammie was supposed to sit out the game due to suspension, but was given a reprieve by the UAAP Board a few hours before tip-off.
“It was very difficult today,” Sauler said after La Salle hacked out a 75-65 overtime win. “The game plan coming into today’s game was based on the personnel we expected to be playing. And then, of course, our defensive game plan – whatever that may be – was focused on something else.”
“And then all of a sudden, an hour before, we had to change our mindset. It’s not only difficult for me but also difficult for the players,” he added.
Mammie made a quick impact, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds in the opening frame. He wound up with 20 rebounds, but only scored five more points the rest of the way.
The Green Archers trailed for three quarters before rallying in the final period. They took a brief 56-55 lead on a Jason Perkins jumper, but UE’s Roi Sumang tied the game with a split at the line.
La Salle dominated the overtime period, however, making all six of their field goals to out-score UE 19-9. It was their fifth victory in a row, allowing them to gain a share of second place along with Far Eastern University.
“I have to hand it to the players,” Sauler said. “They were able to adjust and given the amount of time we had to talk about it inside the locker room, at least they were able to pull it off.”