Published on May 20th, 2016 | by Deion Bandril0
Streaking Green Archers blow out Mapua Cardinals 93-76
The DLSU Green Archers faced the Mapua Cardinals at the Filoil Flying V Center last Thursday evening. It was a very rough matchup resulting to highly-physical play coming from both teams. Ben Mbala led the team to victory with 29 points, 22 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. The game ended with the Green Archers blowing the Cardinals out, 93-76.
It was a slow start for the Green Archers, high-octane offense was expected to come out of the La Salle team but looked confused during the early minutes of the game. They had minimal ball movement resulting to isolation plays. The Green and White team looked to constantly attack the basket but was met with stifling defense coming from the reigning NCAA MVP Allwell Oraeme. Ben Mbala was the constant presence to make the inside buckets but was met with fouls coming from both Justin Serrano and Oraeme.
On defense however, La Salle’s full-court press was put to the test early. Mapua’s backcourt was heavily defended by Thomas Torres and Kib Montalbo. The high pressure defense looked confusing at first with Mapua’s frontcourt being able to get easy looks in transition. The Cardinals had control of the game during the first half. The Green Archers however looked to comeback by making their free throws and by out hustling their individual matchup.
DLSU couldn’t find the mark on offense; they had a 29% field goal percentage compared to Mapua’s 45% shooting by the end of the first half. Free throw shooting was steady for the Taft-based squad by making eleven out of sixteen free throws. The first half showcased up-tempo play from both teams resulting to six lead changes. Frustrations from the bench came flaring with both head coaches receiving technical fouls during the second quarter. The first half of the brawl ended with Mapua leading against La Salle, 32-39.
The third quarter displayed a newfound confidence with the Green Archers. A strong run was made by the Green Archers to overtake the lead. Oraeme suffered a sprain early on the third quarter which opened up the paint for the Green Archers to score inside. Ben Mbala was the factor with him attacking the rim with massive putback dunks. Abu Tratter also proved to be a threat in the paint with constant offensive boards and with him drawing lots of fouls to convert on the line. The highlight from the third came from a transition layup by Thomas Torres and a steal that led to a thunderous followup dunk by Ben Mbala. However, the third period ended with Mapua still leading by ending strong with a seven-point run, 60-61.
Allwell Oraeme returned to the game by the end of the third quarter. The Cardinals wanted to stop the bleeding within the paint and force the Green Archers to take jumpers. However, a scuffle between Oraeme and Montalbo ensued early in the fourth quarter. This resulted to disqualifying fouls for both players after the heated scuffle.
With the Cardinals without their MVP, the Green Archers blew the game open. The constant attacks of Tratter and Mbala on the paint was unstoppable. Every time they entered the paint it was either they make the basket or draw the foul. Both players combined a total of 46 points after everything was all said and done. With the high pressure defense from DLSU’s backcourt, Mapua turned over the ball too much causing their momentum to die down. Jeron Teng would also get his game going by making transition layups and nifty jumpers. La Salle’s bench was able to find the mark and was consistent on both sides of the court. The game then ended with Andrei Caracut closing the game out with a three pointer from the parking lot, 93-76.
With the blowout victory, the DLSU Green Archers extend their winning streak to three and remain undefeated in the preseason tournament. Ben Mbala was named the player of the game, he had 29 points,22 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Abu Tratter too had a wonderful game as he had 17 points with eight rebounds. Jeron Talked also chipped in 16 points and four assists. Coach Aldin Ayo praised the play of his frontcourt; however he feels that his backcourt hasn’t fully grasped his system of play. He still praised the team’s play even after them lacking much effort in the first half.
The DLSU Green Archers look to extend their winning streak to four as they take on the San Beda Red Lions this Saturday, May 21. The game will be held at the same venue at around 5:00 PM.