DLSU Green Archers clinch Final Four spot with rout of UE Red Warriors
Published on October 26th, 2017 | by Genrev Josiah Villamin
The DLSU Green Archers defeated the UE Red Warriors, 99-78, on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Reigning MVP Ben Mbala along with big men Santi Santillan and Justine Baltazar combined for 52 points, 28 rebounds, and seven blocks. Ricci Rivero had 13 markers and six boards to add.
On the other hand, Alvin Pasaol paced the Red Warriors anew with 23 points and nine rebounds.
La Salle came out strong to start the opening period. Santillan, who had a double-double in their previous game, located Prince Rivero for a 4-0 run. Then, the latter hit a jumper to stretch their lead to eight, 10-2, with less than eight minutes left in the quarter. Meanwhile, Pasaol came up with an own 5-0 run to trim their deficit to five, 18-13. But it was countered by the defending Champions who led 28-18 at the end of the first quarter.
With eight minutes left in the second frame, Baltazar hit a layup as the Green Archers threatened to break the game wide open. The Red Warriors called a timeout as DLSU pushed their lead to 16 points, 36-20. La Salle nearly doubled their first quarter lead as they stayed on top of UE after two quarters, 53-34.
Early in the third canto, Santillan and Mbala’s baskets got the Green Archers leading by 25 points. With under five minutes remaining, the younger Rivero found a driving Santillan for the slam. Baltazar hit a top-of-the-key triple as La Salle’s lead ballooned to 27, its highest. At the tail of the third quarter, DLSU led UE, 77-55.
UE erased half of their largest deficit as they trailed by only 13 points with less than eight minutes remaining. Jollo Go’s triple, though, brought back a 19-point lead in favor of La Salle. In the last three minutes of play, Pasaol connected a trey of his own as UE remained within the game, 88-74. Andrei Caracut dished a dime to a cutting Ricci Rivero for the slam, and then sank a free throw to keep the fight out of the Red Warriors.
La Salle established their fourth straight win in Round 2, and ninth overall in 11 outings. More importantly, the Green Archers are already assured of a Final Four spot, while also boosting their Top 2 bid.
The DLSU Green Archers will face the already eliminated UST Growling Tigers on Sunday, 2PM at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 99 – Mbala 25, Santillan 14, Baltazar 13, Ri. Rivero 13, Melecio 7, Tratter 6, Montalbo 5, Ra. Rivero 4, Caracut 3, Go 3, Gonzales 3, Paraiso 2, Tero 1, Capacio 0.
UE 78 – Pasaol 23, Olayon 18, Derige 9, Varilla 8, Maloles 6, Acuno 6, Cullar 4, Cruz 2, Bartolome 2, Conner 0, Gagate 0, Manalang 0.