La Salle picked up its first victory of the season after defeating a youthful UP squad, 96-84, in UAAP Season 76 action Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jeron Teng and Jason Perkins scored 20 points apiece as the Green Archers evened out their win-loss record at 1-1. Perkins added 14 rebounds while Teng had four assists.
UP, behind former Green Archer Sam Marata and rookie Kyles Lao, put up a fight through most of the game, but eight straight points from Perkins in the fourth quarter, the last off of an offensive rebound, gave La Salle a 16-point lead and sealed the game for good.
La Salle jumped to an early lead in the game, rattling off 14 straight points after Lao opened scoring with two free throws. The Green Archers maintained a big lead for most of the first behind a balanced effort from their starters, who each scored three or more points.
But UP closed the period strong and trailed by just five, 24-19, after rookie Jason Ligad beat the buzzer with a three-pointer.
Former high school teammates Jeron Teng and Lao dueled each other to a draw in the period as the former Xavier stars each finished with eight first quarter points to lead their respective teams.
Though La Salle opened the second quarter with a triple from Almond Vosotros, the Fighting Maroons caught fire from three-point range in the second, draining six triples, including three from sophomore point guard Henry Asilum, to tie the game at 44-all with 1:41 remaining.
Perkins and Vosotros scored the last four points of the half as the Green Arches entered the break with a four-point lead, 48-44.
La Salle’s starters continued to pour it on in the third period, scoring all but two of their team’s 27 points. Teng scored another eight in the quarter as they pushed their lead up to eight, 75-67, after three periods.
La Salle threatened to blow the game wide open but a three-pointer from Marata, his fifth in the game, kept UP within eight, 88-80, with over four minutes to play.
But Perkins strung together four straight baskets to put the game away.
Aside from Teng and Perkins, La Salle’s other starters all came up big. Vosotros scored 15 while Norbert and Thomas Torres each scored 14.
Marata scored a career-high for a second-straight game with 21 points while Lao finished with 18 points.
La Salle (96) – Teng 20, Perkins 20, Vosotros 15, N. Torres 14, T. Torres 14, Dela Paz 7, Van Opstal 6, Bolick 0.
UP (84) – Marata 21, Lao 18, Asilum 12, Suarez 9, Ball 8, Soyud 5, Pascual 3, Ligad 3, Desiderio 2, Wong 0, Amar 0.
Quarterscores: 24-19, 48-44, 75-67, 96-84.