Evan Nelle shot the ball like he was blindfolded in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 finals, yet it was he who guided the De La Salle Green Archers to a massive 82-60 victory over the UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Scoring only four points on 2-of-12 shooting, the wiry point guard did everything else impressively, as he also notched 12 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, and a block.
Aside from terrific playmaking, Nelle’s defense was on point as the Green Archers decisively forced a winner-take-all for the crown. The do-it-all cager said the adjustments made by their coaching staff were truly a game-changer for him.
“I have to give credit to the coaching staff. They saw UP’s plays so they prepared me for what they were going to do. So, I just had to be one step ahead of them (UP), so I just did,” Nelle told reporters after the game.
The Green Archers outrebounded the Fighting Maroons, 58 to 46. In the assists department, it was also coach Topex Robinson’s wards who came out on top with a 21 to eight advantage. Nelle had a lot to do with all of that.
Still, he attributes La Salle’s bounce-back to a collective effort, which was evident right from the get-go.
“Kudos to my teammates, to the coaching staff. We really trusted each other. We really came out (and showed) this won’t be our last game,” Nelle stressed.
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The deciding Game 3 between the Green Archers and the Fighting Maroons will take place this Wednesday.
(With reports from Kiko Demigillo, One Sports)