2 July 2014,
FilOil-Flying V Arena,
I wanted to know what the La Salle Greenhills Greenies will be like without four key players, Rashleigh “Prince” Rivero, his brother Rasheed, Alexis Barrera and Kobe Paras.
They are among the Greenies’ top cagers who played significant roles as the team made it to the junior finals of the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament last year.
Fortunately , I got a glimpse of how the Greenies were without Rivero brothers, Barrera and Paras.
(Note: Prince Rivero, last year’s season MVP, is now with the La Salle Green Archers, while Barrera was unable to get a spot with the College of St. Benilde Blazers, Rasheed went to team B of the CSB Blazers, and Barrera got lined up with Adamson University Falcons. Kobe, on the other hand was supposed to have another year left, got a varsity scholarship Los Angeles Cathedral school in California).
– LSGH GREENIES 86, EAC-ICA 45
On Monday, July 2, Michael de la Cruz, John Gob and Ricci Rivero came up with the big numbers to lead the LSGH Greenies to an 86-45 plastering of Emilio Aguinaldo College-Immaculate Concepcion Academy Brigadiers.
(LSGH cager Ricci Rivero tries to get past a harassing EAC-ICA opponent Edlor Cayabo)- photo taken by me.
This gave them their first win in the 90th NCAA junior basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Arena.
De la Cruz, a member of the Philippine national under-17 team, struggled with his shooting in the first half.
(Ricci Rivero successfully makes an alley-oop shot).
But he got his groove back, and shot 11 of 21 points in the third period, and he saw action for 27 minutes.
Gob, described by coach John Flores, as an unselfish when he gets the ball and attracts defenders from the opposing team.
LSGH player Rodney Manuel(no. 13) attempts a basket past EAC-ICA’s Jose Piopongco (no. 4)
He delivered 15 points and 17 rebounds in the 26 minutes he saw action.
Rivero, the youngest of the three Rivero brothers (also composed of Prince and Rasheed), was in foul trouble, but he still got the job done.
He banged in 16 points and 12 boards after playing for 19 minutes.
With the three contributing big time on wreaking havoc at the Brigadiers’ defense, the Greenies drew eight from de la Cruz in the first quarter.
His efforts helped the Greenies quickly move away, 20-7, after the first 10 minutes.
As de la Cruz got held to just two points in the second canto, the Greenies went on to limit the Brigadiers to just 12 points in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
The Greenies went on to take a 38-19 edge when the second half started.
Flores said he asked the boys to lessen their turnovers in the second half.
And when they did, the Greenies widened their lead to 34, 65-31, when the third quarter was over, with Rivero and Gob protecting the shaded lanes.
“We were up 10 to 15 points the whole first half. At halftimeWe just talked about lessening the turnovers, and being more careful with the ball,” said Flores when it was over.
On Monday, July 6, will a big test for the Greenies as they gun for their second straight win.
They will have a chance to challenge the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers for the lead if they beat them in their 6 p.m. showdown.
Last Wednesday, the JRU Light Bombers posted their second consecutive win with a 75-60 win over the San Sebastian Staglets.
LSGH 86—de la Cruz 21, Rivero 16, Gob 15, Pagulayan 8, San Juan 8, Velasco 6, Madrigal 4, Manuel 4, Salonga 2, Alcala 2.
EAC-ICA 45—Piopongco 10, Castillo 9, Cayabo 8, Tayomora 6, Cruz 4, Montilla 4, Beduria 3, Gentile 1.
Quarterscores: 20-7, 38-19, 65-31, 86-45.