DLSU Green Archers bounce back, keep UST Growling Tigers winless

Following a surprising loss in their previous game, the DLSU Green Archers bounced back against the UST Growling Tigers, 115-86, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ben Mbala once again anchored the Green Archers, who played without sophomore guard Aljun Melecio due to illness. Mbala scattered 29 points on a 50% clip along with nine rebounds in less than 28 minutes. Andrei Caracut and Santi Santillan chipped in 14 and 13 respectively.

Wendell De Guzman and Steve Akomo led the Growling Tigers, who are still winless in six games. De Guzman collected 18 points while Akomo grabbed 13 rebounds in the loss.

Santillan knocked both of his triples in the first quarter as La Salle built a 17-7 lead over UST. A Gab Capacio triple and an Abu Tratter fast break gave them a 24-13 advantage midway through the opening period. At the tail of the first quarter, it was DLSU up by nine points against UST, 30-21.

Mbala opened the second frame with a pair of free throws as La Salle started to break the game wide open. Their lead ballooned to 21 points, 43-22, after unleashing a 13-1 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Caracut’s two freebies extended their lead to 24, 50-26, their biggest of the first half.

Seventeen of Mbala’s 29 points came in the first half as the Taft-based squad marched into the dugout with a 60-42 advantage over the Espana-based squad. La Salle’s held UST to zero perimeter points after the two quarters. Their “Mayhem” defense also forced the Growling Tigers 16 turnovers, which were translated to 20 turnover points.

From down 24, the Growling Tigers trimmed their deficit to only 14 points, 52-66, to open the third canto. A triple by Prince Rivero brought them up by 17 points, 69-52, with six minutes to go. Capacio’s triple and an in-bound steal by Jollo Go pushed their lead back to 20 points, 76-56. At the 3:11 mark of the third quarter, a turnover by the Growling Tigers resulted to a Tero-Mbala alley-oop for the highlight of the game. La Salle still dominated UST after three quarters, 85-63.

In the fourth and final quarter, Caracut’s triple and a basket by Mbala pushed them to a 92-73 basket with 6:22 remaining. Santillan, who was silent in the second and third quarters, found himself alone for the breakaway slam. In the next play, he connected on a three-point play as the Green Archers enjoyed a huge 97-76 lead. The Growling Tigers never got back as the Green Archers cruised to their fourth win, 115-86.

The DLSU Green Archers will face the UE Red Warriors on Wednesday, 4PM at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Scores:

DLSU 115 – Mbala 29, Caracut 14, Santillan 13, P. Rivero 11, Montalbo 8, Tratter 8, Go 7, Capacio 7, R. Rivero 7, Tero 5, Baltazar 4, Paraiso 2, Gonzales 0.

UST 86 – De Guzman 18, Akomo 15, Sta. Ana 14, Macasaet 8, Lee 8, Faundo 8, Romero 4, Kwawukumey 4, Escalambre 2, Huang 2, Caunan 2, Arana 1, Garcia 0, Lorenzana 0, Soriano 0.

Green Archers suffer first loss of the season, bow to Fighting Maroons

Green Archers
Green Archers triple team UP star Paul Desidero.

The De La Salle Univeristy Green Archers suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the UP Fighting Maroons, 87-98, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Reigning MVP Ben Mbala paced the team with 34 points on 11/19 shooting, including 4/8 from three. He also grabbed 12 rebounds in the losing effort. Andrei Caracut and Ricci Rivero added 15 and 12 points respectively.

On the other hand, Paul Desiderio led the Fighting Maroons with 30 points built on six triples. He also listed six rebounds and five assists. Jun Manzo added 17 markers as the Fighting Maroons tied the Green Archers for second place with similar 3-1 records.

The opening period saw a hot-shooting Green Archers. Mbala poured 16 points in the first quarter, including all of his four treys. They established a double-digit lead, 18-7, with 3:54 to go off an in-bound steal. Their lead eventually extended to 14, their biggest of the game, at 23-9 after a Caracut three-pointer. At the end, it was 27-18 for DLSU.

La Salle led UP, 33-22, at the 8:13 mark courtesy of a Prince Rivero clean up of the younger Rivero’s miss. The Fighting Maroons, however, pulled a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to two points, 33-31, before Desiderio completed a four-point play with 4:58 remaining in the first half. Javi Gomez De Liano’s triple then gave UP the lead, 41-40, as the Fighting Maroons entered the dugout with a 47-43 advantage.

Only five players – Mbala, Caracut, Kib Montalbo, and the Rivero brothers – have scored in the first half for DLSU contrast to UP’s nine.

The Taft-based squad opened the third frame with a 9-0 run to reclaim the driver’s seat, 52-47. But the Diliman-based squad answered with a 10-0 blast, including back-to-back triples from Desiderio to give them a 57-52 lead. Mbala, nonetheless, kept the Green Archers within striking distance, knotting the game at 63-all with 2:21 to go. Red-hot Desiderio, however, continued to sizzle from three-point distance for a 66-65 UP lead after three quarters.

The Fighting Maroons started to pull away early in the payoff period, extending their lead to eight, 68-76. Then, the Green Archers rallied to bring them to within four points, 77-81, with 4:12 remaining. Within the next two minutes, La Salle was yet down again by 11 after an 7-0 UP counter rally capped by a goal tending violation called on Mbala. Ricci Rivero’s triple and Caracut’s three freebies brought them to within seven, 85-92 with under a minute to play. Manzo’s basket with 20 ticks to go, however, proved to be the nail in the coffin.

With the loss, the DLSU Green Archers slide to third place with a 3-1 slate. They will face the still winless UST Growling Tigers on Saturday, 4PM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Scores:

DLSU 87 – Mbala 34, Caracut 15, Ri. Rivero 12, Ra. Rivero 9, Melecio 5, Montalbo 5, Santillan 5, Paraiso 2, Go 0, Tratter 0.

UP 98 – Desiderio 30, Manzo 17, Jg. Gomez De Liano 10, Jj. Gomez De Liano 10, Quattara 6, Lim 6, Jaboneta 6, Dario 5, Romero 4, Ricafort 2, Prado 2, Lao 0, Vito 0, Harris 0.

Lady Archers start Season 80 with a 0-2 record after loss to Lady Bulldogs

Lady Archers
Angel Figueroa paced the Lady Archers with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Photo by May Luna

The De La Salle University Lady Archers suffered back-to-back losses to open their UAAP Season 80 campaign. The runners-up lost to the defending Champions, NU Lady Bulldogs, 56-77, in the rematch between the UAAP Season 79 finalists on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Angel Figueroa led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. Khate Castillo added 11 points and six rebounds.

The Lady Archers started the game flat and trailed by nine points early in the opening period. They went scoreless in the first four minutes. Bernice Paraiso’s basket finally put them on the scoreboard. Then, Charline Javier brought them to within 11 with under four minutes remaining. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Archers trail the Lady Bulldogs by 12, 10-22.

An unsportsmanlike foul was slapped on NU in the second frame but La Salle was still down by 10, 12-22. The gap widened up to 16 points, 12-28, with a little over four minutes to go in the first half. The Lady Archers rallied to trim their deficit to only eight points. They had an opportunity to even pull them to within five points. However, rookie Lauryn Del Campo missed a triple at the buzzer to end the first half, 25-33.

In the second half, the Taft-based squad could not carry any momentum as they continued to struggle. The Jhocson-based squad extended their lead back to 16 with an 8-0 run. With less than four minutes left in the third quarter, NU already poured 19 points. To contrast, La Salle only had four points. The Lady Bulldogs’ scoring runs buried the Lady Archers further, 29-52. A 10-3 La Salle run spiked by three Khate Castillo treys cut NU’s lead to 16, 39-55, bridging the third and fourth quarters. Moreover, DLSU forced NU turnovers as they continued to rally and pull them to within 10, 49-59. However, the defending Champions countered with 13 unanswered points with 2:32 remaining in the game. The Lady Archers eventually ran out of gas as the game ended 56-77.

The DLSU Lady Archers will try to get their first win when they face the Adamson Lady Falcons on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Scores:

DLSU 56 – Figueroa 15, Castillo 11, Torres 6, Javier 5, Jimenez 4, Vergara 4, Paraiso 3, Nunez 3, Del Campo 3, Arciga 2, Dagdagan 0.

NU 77 – Itesi 21, Nabalan 19, Antiquera 11, Aminam 9, Sison 5, Del Carmen 4, Harada 4, Camelo 2, Ano-os, 2, Ceno 0 , Tanesa 0.

UAAP Season 80 Team Preview: DLSU Lady Archers

Marga Dagdagan of the DLSU Lady Archers
DLSU Lady Archers are hoping for a successful campaign in UAAP Season 80.

Season 79: 11-3 (2nd Place)

Holdovers: Marga Dagdagan, Khate Castillo, Chay Vergara, Kat Nunez, Joe Arciga, Vea Malarde, Angel Figueroa, Charmine Torres, Charlene Javier, Jamie Roxas

Additions: Marga Jimenez, Bernice Paraiso, Lauryn Del Campo, Noreen Gabriana

Departures: Camille Claro, Bennette Revillosa, Snow Penaranda, Kathy Gonzales, Paulina Vela, Susan Ali Mohamed El Hadad

The De La Salle Univeristy Lady Archers entered UAAP Season 79 brimming with hope despite a premature exit in Season 78. They bowed to arch-rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles in the Semifinals. La Salle opened the Season 79 with wins against FEU and UP, before losing to defending Champions NU Lady Bulldogs. They bounced back with six consecutive wins and fell anew to NU and FEU. The Lady Archers swept their remaining assignments in the elimination round for an 11-3 slate. Despite a slightly worse record than Season 78’s 12-2, the Lady Archers still managed to end up at 2nd place and book a direct trip to the Semifinals.

Earning a twice-to-beat advantage is no longer new to the Lady Archers. However, they have wasted that advantage in Season 77 and repeated in Season 78. In Season 79, the Lady Archers earned the same advantage again. But this time, they immediately took care of business by dismantling the UE Lady Warriors to finally advance to the Finals. They were met by the still undefeated Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Archers bowed in Game 1 by only three points, 74-77, before losing their grip in Game 2, 72-96, effectively surrendering the crown to NU and finishing 2nd place.

Lady Archers Coach Cholo Villanueva pointed out their ‘lack of experience playing’ in the Finals as one of the team’s main problems after they were outclassed by the NU Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Archers last played in the Finals in 2013, Season 76, where they beat NU for their most recent title. To address that, the team played in two preseason tournaments as well as against high school boys’ teams in the offseason. So far, Villanueva likes what he sees from the ladies. “We are improving every day. Everybody is giving their best effort.”

The DLSU Lady Archers will be bannering a guard-heavy squad anchored by veterans Marga Dagdagan, Khate Castillo, and Chay Vergara.

“We put in a system that is guard-oriented, something that does need a big,” Villanueva shared on the team’s adjustments.

Team captain Marga Dagdagan added that the Lady Archers may not be able to beat other teams with athleticism, but they can beat other teams with their ability to decide fast. Dagdagan knows that the team can adapt quickly to what their coach wants.

The Lady Archers also look to get help from their new teammates. They will be parading Marga Jimenez, Bernice Paraiso, Lauryn Del Campo, and Noreen Gabriana.

“Since most of the veterans are injured, our old veterans will need help from our new guys.” Coach Villanueva said.

Dagdagan shared that the sophomore mentor has provided them a program to enhance their build. “In high school, they have easy basketball. But here in the UAAP, they have bigger girls to play with. The rookies have to be able to bump with the bigger girls.”

Rookie Lauryn Del Campo expressed her excitement in helping the team in her first year in the UAAP. She also expects a lot of communication in the team.

“I can help them by keeping a positive attitude. I am going to try to hustle more on defense and try to help them out defensively. If I do something wrong, they would tell me. And if they do something wrong, I should be able to tell them as well,” she said.

Entering Season 80 as the 2nd place, the team’s mindset is to take it one game at a time. “Play every game. We will see it from there,” Coach Villanueva described.

The Lady Archers also took a huge blow as go-to-player Camille Claro will not be suiting up for the team due to an injury. Despite that, Dagdagan stressed that they have no time to worry as they are far away from the title.

“Upon learning that Camille Claro will not play this season, we had that thinking that we will really have a hard time making it to the Championship. But we are not yet looking for the Championship”, Dagdagan expressed.

Almost all teams are intact and are veteran teams,” according to Coach Villanueva. Three-time defending Champions NU Lady Bulldogs, who are entering Season 80 on a 48-game winning streak, are definitely the team to beat. Villanueva also listed UE, Adamson, and UST as teams to beat.

As small as this year’s version of the Lady Archers are, Dagdagan believes that her team is going to slug it all out in Season 80.

“I’m expecting the ladies to show their willingness to fight even in crucial stages. I expect them to not give up even if we are a small team.”

Coming off a 2nd place finish, expectations are high once again for the Lady Archers. Nonetheless, Coach Villanueva assured that the DLSU community can expect a team that is ready to give it their all in Season 80.

“We will play with heart, play with aggressiveness. We’re always going to bring the competitiveness, the willingness to win. We will just have to leave everything on the floor in every game that we play.” vowed Villanueva.

Green Archers move a win away from Filoil title repeat

De La Salle University Green Archers are one win away from their fifth Filoil Flying V Preseason title.

The Green Archers march into the finals of the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at the expense of the Lyceum Pirates, 100-99, Friday in San Juan. The finals appearance marks as their fourth consecutive and seventh overall since the tournament debuted in 2006.

Aljun Melecio led La Salle with 30 points built around five triples. Ricci Rivero and Ben Mbala contributed 27 and 26 points, respectively. Ben Mbala, who leads the tournament in statistical points, also logged 15 rebounds.

The Green Archers banked on a solid end-game defense to put the gritty Pirates away. The win set up a finals showdown with San Beda.

La Salle’s starters connected on their shots to ­create a distance early into the 1st quarter. Rivero and Andrei Caracut, who both finished in double-digits on Wednesday against FEU, opened the scoring with consecutive baskets. Melecio’s layup made it 15-8 with 6:50 to play. He further extended their lead to 11 with a baseline shot, 23-12. They sat on a 23-15 after the opening period.

The Pirates countered the Green Archers’ offense by racking up 9 points in the first four minutes of the 2nd frame. They were able to cut DLSU’s lead to a solitary point, 24-25, before eventually tying it at 30-all. The Taft-based squad, on the other hand, found themselves trailing by three, 39-42, after two straight triples by Lyceum. A 6-2 run initiated by Mbala got them back to the driver’s seat with 1:22 to play in the 1st half. However, three free throw conversions by Baltazar, Lyceum’s own, made it a 47-45 lead for the Intramuros-based squad at the halftime.

Melecio, who led his team in the 1st half with 13 points, quickly added four more to his total to start the 2nd half as La Salle regained the lead. A basket by Mbala midway through the quarter brought the Green Archers’ advantage back to nine points. They continued to control the pace for the remaining four minutes of the period. Back-to-back hits from the rainbow country by Melecio gave the Lasallians a 77-69 lead before ending the 3rd canto, 77-73.

Into the 4th and final quarter, Melecio continued to sizzle as he hit another three-pointer off his own offensive rebound. He scored 11 of the last 13 points of the Green and White. With 7:30 remaining, their lead extended to double-digits, 86-75, courtesy of an Mbala free throw. The tenacious Pirates gave another scare after organizing an 11-1 run to trim their deficit to one point anew, 88-87. The game went on seesaw but DLSU continued to hold their one-point edge over LPU, 95-94, with 1:16 to play. A highlight play by the Gray and Red tied the game at 97-all with 49 seconds to go. Santi Santillan made a heroic crucial basket and-1 to put the Green Archers up for good.

The DLSU Green Archers managed to escape with the W as the LPU Pirates turned the ball over twice and missed the game-winner with 0.3 of a second remaining, 100-99.

La Salle and San Beda have faced each other in the finals thrice where La Salle beat them twice. San Beda won the title in their most recent finals meeting in 2015.

The Green Archers, who will defend their 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup title, are expected to be all-in against the Red Lions on Sunday, 4:00 PM.

Scores:

DLSU 100 – Melecio 30, Rivero 27, Mbala 26, Santillan 9, Caracut 4, Baltazar 2, Tero 2, Go 0, Tratter 0

LPU 99 – Perez 24, Baltazar 19, Tansingco 15, Ayaay 13, Nzeusseu 7, Caduyac 6, Marcelino 5, Pretta 5, Marcelino 4, Ibanez 1, Liwag 0, Cinco 0

Green Archers advance to Filoil semis with win over Tamaraws

Green Archers
Ben Mbala powered the Green Archers in the preseason tournament.

The De La Salle University Green Archers continued to roll in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. They knocked out top-seeded FEU, 78-53, on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who had a monstrous 45-17 ‘flu’ performance against Letran last Friday, powered the Green Archers. He topped all scorers with 32 points and 19 boards. He shot 10/18 shooting and missed only one free throw, making 11 of 12.

Incoming UAAP Sophomores Aljun Melecio and Ricci Rivero added 13 points apiece. The former also logged seven assists and three steals.

La Salle forced FEU 22 turnovers, then translated them to 18 points. The Green Archers also dominated the boards, 58-37.

Meanwhile, Arvin Tolentino and Richard Escoto scattered 10 points each as the FEU Tamaraws exit the tournament.

La Salle opened the first five minutes of action by blasting an 11-3 run. Mbala’s free throws helped his team establish the first double-digit spread, 16-5, with 3:20 to play in the first quarter. The Green Archers led the Tamaraws after one quarter, 20-11.

In the second frame, Mbala continued to dominate by pouring seven unanswered points. Eventually, the Green and White’s cushion extended to 13, 31-18. Melecio’s layup gave La Salle a 13-point edge heading into the dugout.

After the first two quarters, the Green Archers sit on a comfortable 35-22 advantage over the Tamaraws. Big Ben Mbala already had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The Taft-based squad pulled away to start the second half. They led by as much as 17, 52-35, in the third canto as Justine Baltazar and Ricci Rivero hosted a dunking spree. The Morayta-based squad, on the other hand, were able to trim their deficit to 12 points, 47-59, with less than eight minutes to go.

Owning a 16-point cushion did not stop the Green and White in the last quarter. Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio, recipients of the two latest UAAP Rookie of the Year awards, scattered three-pointers to make it a 25-point game. Additionally, Tolentino was slapped an unsportsmanlike foul after elbowing Abu Tratter. That proved to be the nail in the coffin for the FEU Tamaraws.

The DLSU Green Archers will face the Lyceum Pirates in the Semifinals on Friday.

Scores:

DLSU 78 – Mbala 32, Melecio 13, Ri. Rivero 13, Caracut 11, Go 4, Santillan 3, Baltazar 2, Tero 0, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Capacio 0.

FEU 53 – Escoto 10, Tolentino 10, Inigo 6, Nunag 6, Tuffin 6, Orizu 5, Cani 4, Ramirez 2, Trinidad 2, Parker 1, Comboy 1, Bienes 0, Stockton 0.

Lady Spikers secure semis bonus with mastery over Golden Tigresses

DLSU Lady Spikers celebrate their win over the UST Golden Tigresses.

The DLSU Lady Spikers extended their winning streak to five games at the expense of the UST Golden Tigresses, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21, Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Desiree Cheng powered the team with 13 points built on nine attacks, one block, and three service aces.

After opening the first frame with a 4-1 lead, the Lady Spikers trailed for most of the set. Tin Tiamzon later knotted it anew at 19-all. The rest of the set instantly became a see-saw ride for both teams. However, La Salle held on and was able to take the driver’s seat late, 23-22. DLSU never looked back and claimed Set 1, 25-23, in a come-from-behind fashion.

In Set 2, the ladies in Green picked up where they left off. They established an early 10-5 cushion over the ladies in Yellow. Furthermore, Cheng extended her team’s distance to seven points, 15-8. UST tried to make a run by trimming DLSU’s edge to four points at 18-14. With La Salle leading UST at 22-17, Dawn Macandili almost single-handedly towed the Lady Spikers with her two digs to keep the rally alive. They eventually prevailed in Set 2 with a three-point margin, 25-22.

The Lady Spikers started Set 3 waxing hot just like their previous sets. Kim Dy was taken out of the court after suffering a minor sprain following an awkward landing on her ankle. Despite playing Dy-less for the rest of the set, the defending Champions showed their composure. They played a tight game against UST before pulling away in the endgame. The Green and White took Set 3 and the match, 25-21.

The DLSU Lady Spikers will face the Adamson University Lady Soaring Falcons on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Arena for their 11th win and sixth consecutive.

DLSU Lady Spikers demolish the FEU Lady Tamaraws to start Round 2

DLSU Lady Spikers
DLSU Lady Spikers celebrate after a score against the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

After a heartbreaking loss to their archrivals Ateneo Lady Eagles, the DLSU Lady Spikers bounced back, started their Round 2 campaign on a high note, demolishing the FEU Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 25-5, 25-23, 25-23, Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Desiree Cheng and Aduke Ogunsanya led the team with 11 points each, while Ernestine Tiamzon and Kim Dy chipped in 10 and 9, respectively.

The Lady Spikers stunned the sleeping Tamaraws in a merciless first set where they limited them to only five points. This is the lowest output in a set since UST pummeled UE, 25-2, in 2010. They established a double-digit spread, 13-3, on a Dy service ace. Then, their lead ballooned to 19, 22-3, as they kept rolling. Desiree Cheng’s error stopped the bleeding for the opponents.

La Salle trailed FEU, 4-5, early in the second set as the latter already tied their first set output. Coach Ramil’s squad, however, showed their poise by countering every run initiated by Coach Shaq’s team. La Salle never looked back after breaking the 19-all tie as they cruised to a 25-23 win in Set 2.

The two teams exchanged points to start the third set. The Green and White pulled away and led by as much as six, 12-6. However, the Green and Gold trimmed it to just one point, 16-15. The Lady Spikers regrouped late in the third set and looked to end the match, 24-19. The Morayta-based squad attempted one final scare, scoring four quick points to pull them back to within one, 23-24. Tiamzon had other plans, though, as she sealed the win for her team.

The DLSU Lady Spikers improve to solo second with a 6-2 card. They will face the NU Lady Bulldogs on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

DLSU Green Archers stay unblemished with rout of UE Red Warriors

Jason Perkins produced two points in his return to the court for the Green Archers.
Jason Perkins produced two points in his return to the court for the Green Archers.

The De La Salle University Green Archers extended their winning streak to six games after outlasting the University of the East Red Warriors, 84-78, on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Ben Mbala continued his dominance by leading his team with 19 points on top of 17 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists. Rookie Justine Baltazar added a career-high 14 points.

On the other hand, Alvin Pasaol led the UE Red Warriors with a personal best 22 points, 11 in the fourth, as they remained dwelling in the cellar.

It was a close encounter in the first seven minutes as the Red Warriors trailed by only four points, 6-10. But, the Green Archers erupted to break the game wide-open and end the first frame, 25-11.

Baltazar, Jollo Go, and returning Jason Perkins provided the first points of the second quarter. La Salle extended the lead to 16, 33-17, following a dish by Aljun Melecio to Baltazar with less than four minutes in the first half. With 1:12 to go, Thomas Torres lost the ball out of bounds after a contact with UE’s Wilson Bartolome. Disliking the non-call, La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo fitted a pair of eyeglasses to one of the officials. That resulted to two technical fouls, throwing him out of the game. Nonetheless, the Green Archers held on to a 14 point lead, 44-30.

The Red Warriors kicked off the third quarter strong, taking advantage of Ayo’s absence. A 9-2 UE run in the first three minutes trimmed their deficit, as Abu Tratter collected his fourth foul. But the resilient Green Archers countered to keep them afloat by double digits. An alley-oop connection by Torres and Mbala put them up, 51-41. Baltazar beat the buzzer to end the third quarter, 62-55, for the Green and White.

The Ayo-less Green Archers never looked back as they started the final frame with a 10-0 bomb. Rookie of the Year Andrei Caracut made two three-point plays in that run. But the Recto-based squad never gave up, though, threatening the Taft-based squad with their own 16-6 run. In a span of no more than eight minutes, they were able to cut their deficit to four, 74-78. However, another huge triple from Caracut kept the Red Warriors at bay. UE then committed a crucial turnover with less than a minute to play. Prince Rivero sealed the game with two free throws.

The DLSU Green Archers will face the ADMU Blue Eagles, in what is expected to be another blockbuster game on Sunday, with a goal of sweeping the first round.

Scores:

DLSU 84 – Mbala 19, Baltazar 14, P. Rivero 11, Montalbo 9, Caracut 9, Teng 7, Melecio 5, Torres 4, Go 4, Perkins 2, Tratter 0, Paraiso 0, R. Rivero 0.

UE 78 – Pasaol 22, Batiller 13, Varilla 8, Derige 8, Manalang 7, Palma 7, De Leon 4, Bartolome 4, Penuela 4, Charcos 1, Gagate 0, Olayton 0, Abanto 0, Armenion 0, Acuno 0.