MANILA, Philippines–Schonny Winston finally made his debut for the La Salle Green Archers but didn’t get his usual minutes.
That wasn’t much of a concern for the Green Archers, who managed to take a 63-58 win over the National University Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday.
Penny Estacio scored all 13 points and even outstripped the entire NU team in the third quarter, highlighted by three triples, creating a wide gap that the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome.
The Archers had their third straight win streak, their sixth overall win in 12 games, and brought themselves closer to their Final Four goals as they battled the Adamson Falcons in the qualifying.
“We needed this win because we aim to be in the Final Four. “I didn’t force it, my vaccinations just went in,” Estacio said, bravely filling in for Winston, who was continuing to breastfeed a nervous calf.
The MVP contender missed four games in a row before La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren sent him back on the sidelines for the rest of the game and was on the court for just three seconds in the first half.
“Penny had a great third quarter, she gave us the support we needed. It was Penny’s turn to step up in this game,” said Pumaren.
Already confident they’d make it to the playoffs, the Bulldogs weren’t all that ferocious, playing catch-up for the entirety of the competition before absorbing their fourth loss in 13 games before completing their second-round mission against the Falcons on Saturday.
The Bulldogs chased the Archers in the fourth round, but each time they encountered something earth-shattering, La Salle found a ready answer through Evan Nelle’s sniping and Kevin Quiambao’s attacks.
John Figueroa added 19 points and Jhon Lloyd Clemente 15 points for the Bulldogs.
“There was a dogfight out there and they’re still the second hottest team in the league and the #2 team, so they kept beating and digging in there to come out victorious,” Pumaren said.
LA SALLE 63 — Estacio 13, Nelle 10, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 7, Cortez 7, Quiambao 6, Abadam 4, Austria 2, B. Phillips 2, Nwankwo 2, Macalalag 1, Winston 0.
NU 58 — Figueroa 19, Clemente 15, Manansala 5, John 4, Enriquez 4, Baclaan 4, Palacielo 2, Mahinay 2, Padrones 2, Minerva 1, Malonzo 0, Yu 0, Galinato 0, Tibayan 0, Tulabut 0.
Quarter: 14-14, 32-28, 48-37, 63-58.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 other topics, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am, and share articles on social media. Dial 896 6000.