The La Salle Green Archers’ historic 83-78 win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles won’t mean much if they don’t stretch their winning run any further.
Green Archers coach Derrick Pumaren said this after they got past their arch-rivals on Sunday in the 85th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
And this means that the Taft Avenue-based Archers will have to shoot for another win when they deal with the University of the East in their next match on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“This win means nothing if we don’t take care of business against UE. This win means nothing. We cannot be too happy about this win, but I know we’re happy in seven games, eight games finally,” said Pumaren.
Their winning streak has been stretched to two and the Green Archers now share second spot with the Blue Eagles and the National University Bulldogs with a 2-1 win-loss record, behind the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, who are unbeaten after three games.
“La Salle has won against Ateneo, but that is not the championship, that is not what we’re her for. The season is still early, there’s nothing really need to celebrate about,” added Pumaren, as La Salle marked its first victory over Ateneo in five years.
Their next encounter with the UE Warriors, according to Pumaren, is important, because this will give them more momentum to stay on top.
“We just have to really focus, and stay on track; and we take care of business of UE, and don’t underestimate them. We know that they’re a strong now compared to the last season,” said Pumaren.
Meanwhile, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin felt that lack of composure led to their downfall.
“I think we had issues with, let’s just call it, self-imposed composure. Again, that’s being a bit unfair to La Salle because they certainly had a lot to do with pressure in that game. But I think we did things as a basketball team and as individuals that are going to be extremely detrimental to our capability of vying for a championship,” said Baldwin.
The team was challenged by La Salle’s pressure defense, a tactic which Pumaren is known for.
The Blue Eagles will seek to rebound from their setback with their match against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers this Wednesday.