Green Archers demolish Fighting Maroons; avenge loss in first round
Published on October 16th, 2017 | by Khyte Mendoza
After the surprising first-round defeat, it’s now even.
The De La Salle University Green Archers dominated the University of the Philippines, 85-62, to exact revenge on the Fighting Maroons in the second round of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, Sunday.
UP seemed to be brimming with confidence right out the gate, knowing that they already pulled-off a shocker in their first meeting. The Fighting Maroons raced to a 9-4 blitz in the opening period. The Green Archers, though, were quick to retaliate as they immediately got their bearings back. The Taft-based squad blasted a 17-5 run starting at the halfway mark of the first capped off by two treys from the returning Aljun Melecio and outside sniper Jollo Go to end the quarter with the score of 24-14.
The Green and White, then, unleashed bursts after bursts to leave Coach Bo Perasol’s wards in the dust.
In the second frame, the Diliman-based crew eventually went on to fall into the pit of the “Mayhem”. DLSU controlled the pace with their suffocating defense and unstoppable offense anchored by Big Ben Mbala. The Green Archers, who pushed the lead to as high as 25 in the first half, outscored the Fighting Maroons 27-13 to impose a 51-27 lead at halftime.
Nothing changed in the early moments of the third canto, beginning with another La Salle run. Mbala handed off a dime to Santi Santillan for a floater as the Green Archers ballooned the edge to its highest at 28 points, 60-32. However, UP was just not going anywhere without a fight. the lineup of Felix Jaboneta, Noah Webb, Jun Manzo, and the Gomez de Liano brothers trimmed their deficit to 18, 63-45. The older Gomez de Liano committed a last-second mistake as he fouled Go with only 0.9 ticks left in the third. Go, then, nailed both freebies to bring the lead back to 20.
UP somehow found their rhythm in the payoff period and it was their turn to rally back into the game. Ibrahim Quattara and Felix Jaboneta sank back-to-back hits to cut the lead to 14, 65-51, with still over eight minutes to play. The Green Archers were unfazed, showing composure in the crucial juncture. Ricci Rivero and Mbala took over to keep the Fighting Maroons at bay. It was a little too late for UP to spark another run as they were still trailing by 20, 78-58, after the younger Rivero pulled-off a smooth euro-step on Quattara with only 2:36 left in the game and the outcome has already been decided.
The 6’7 Mbala paced DLSU with a double-double performance of 27 points and 14 rebounds. Ricci Rivero added 20 points in an efficient 8 of 13 shooting clip, while team captain Kib Montalbo chipped in 12.
Manzo was the lone Maroon who barged into double figures in scoring with 13 points. Quattara posted nine markers and 12 boards. Paul Desiderio, who was defended by Mbala throughout the game, had a dismal showing as he was limited to only seven points in 2 of 13 shooting.
Both La Salle’s starters and their bench overwhelmed UP’s in scoring, 56-22 and 40-29, respectively. The former also got the fast-paced tempo that they wanted, garnering 17 points in fastbreaks against the latter’s eight, while controlling the offensive boards as well with a 17-8 advantage in second-chance points.
The Green Archers climbed up to 7-2 win-loss card, still solo second, and they will next face the Adamson University Soaring Falcons on Saturday, October 21, 2pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU 85 – Mbala 27, R. Rivero 20, Montalbo 12, Go 8, Santillan 7, Baltazar 3, Melecio 3, P. Rivero 3, Caracut 2, Gonzales 0, Tero 0, Tratter 0.
UP 62 – Manzo 13, Quattara 9, Ju, Gomez de Liano 7, Desiderio 7, Ja. 6, Lim 6, Vito 6, Webb 5, Jaboneta 3, Lao 0, Dario 0, Romero 0, Harris 0.
Quarter scores: 24-14, 51-27, 65-45, 85-62.