Exhaustion not a concern for Green Archers
MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle head coach Juno Sauler used only seven players in their 77-70 victory over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 76 Finals, but the Green Archers merely shrugged off their exhaustion at the end of the game.
The usual suspects – Arnold Van Opstal, Jason Perkins, Jeron Teng, Almond Vosotros and LA Revilla – started, but Sauler only brought Thomas and Norbert Torres off the bench for La Salle, which is considered one of the deepest teams in the league.
“My choice,” Sauler later said when asked to explain his rotation.
All of La Salle’s wound up playing at least 30 minutes, with Vosotros seeing action for 38 minutes. Van Opstal, who played for 31 minutes and had a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds, said he was ready for the extended minutes.
“I’m ready, whatever it takes. Of course, if you leave it all on the court, you’ll get tired. But I’m prepared to get tired,” said Van Opstal, who was named the season’s Most Improved Player in the awarding ceremonies prior to the game.
“Sa mga ganitong laro, hindi mo na maiisip ‘yung pagod talaga,” added Teng, who scored a team-high 19 points in 35 minutes of action.
“Every possession, we’re gonna give it our all,” he added.
Even though the Green Archers shrugged off their fatigue, Sauler acknowledged that the short rotation may have had an effect in their game during the fourth quarter.
“Maybe we could have had a better output in the fourth quarter. We only scored 13 points, our lowest in the ballgame,” he said. “Maybe they were tired because we only used seven players, so maybe my choice was wrong, that’s why they got tired.”
“Hopefully, we can score more than 13 in the next game.”
The Green Archers will have plenty of time to rest, as they will have a one week break before Game 3 of the UAAP Finals tips off on October 12.