Green Archers fight for their lives in Game 2 of UAAP S80 Finals
Published on November 29th, 2017 | by Khyte Mendoza
The De La Salle University Green Archers will try to extend the UAAP Season 80 Finals series as they engage in a slugfest with arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in Game 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, 4 PM, later today.
With their backs against the wall, the Green Archers will once again lean on the services of two-time league Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala and Mythical Five member Ricci Rivero.
The Cameroonian Mbala had a quiet outing in Game 1 as he struggled to find any rhythm due to foul trouble and suffocating defense from the Blue Eagles’ frontcourt. Big Ben had a career-low 8 points on 3 of 7 shooting while scattering 12 boards and four dimes on top of four fouls. It was the first time in his UAAP career that Mbala did not reach double digits in points.
Ricci Rivero also had a bad day in office with only 10 points on a 4 of 11 clip, two rebounds, one assist against two turnovers. Team Captain Kib Montalbo only had three markers, three rebounds, but made up for his defense with three steals.
AdMU outrebounded DLSU, 45 and 37, respectively, as the Katipunan-based crew collected 20 from the offensive end against the Taft squad’s 13. Ateneo took a slight edge against La Salle in turnovers, 16-17.
Four Blue Eagles reached double figures in scoring, on the other hand, only Aljun Melecio and Rivero breached the mark, with the former being the lone bright spot for the Green shirts.
Former De La Salle-Zobel star Melecio, who finally broke out after a long scoring drought since his return from an illness, exploded for 24 points, 15 from beyond the arc.
The Green and White played catch-up the entire game in the finals opener with the opponents leading by as much as 13 and La Salle only by two. The trio of Mbala, Melecio, and Rivero has to co-exist to have a better chance of forcing a sudden death Game 3, but it is not just that. They have to start and finish strong and that will take a total team effort to pull it off.
More importantly, it all begins with DEFENSE. That is what the Green Archers are known for and as the saying goes, “Defense wins championships”. Fortunately, that’s our main weapon – MAYHEM.