Swingman Jeron Teng led De La Salle University in halting University of the Philippines (UP) 78-72, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. The Green Archers are now unbeaten in nine games.
Teng, who just returned after missing two consecutive games because of foot injury, posted 21 points five rebounds and five assists. The 6’7 Ben Mbala notched 17 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and a block for the Green Archers.
“I will give my 100 percent every game for La Salle,” the 22-year-old Teng told reporters during the postgame interview. “From this game, for sure, we will see a lot of rooms for improvement. I never felt better this season.” Teng’s left heel was operated two weeks ago to remove bone spurs.
Guard Thomas Torres contributed 13 points while Aljun Melecio and Ricci Rivero chipped in nine points each also for La Salle. Prince Rivero registered eight rebounds and Kim Montalbo six steals.
“UP has a great game plan. Our offense was distracted but the good thing was we were able to execute our game plan in the endgame. Actually, I’m not celebrating my birthday because most of the time there’s a game in October. The more we win, the harder it gets because all of them are going to prepare against us,” he added. “UP played their A-game also every time we face them. They are motivated,” La Salle coach Aldin Ayo told reporters after the game.
“It’s always good to get a win on your birthday. It’s a good birthday gift to coach Aldin (Ayo) from the team,” said La Salle assistant coach Paolo Sauler. “Hopefully in the next three days we can improve on the things we can improve on for our next game.”
Teng played aggressively early in the match, owning nine points of La Salle’s 25 points in the first quarter. The Green Archers’ tight defense limited the Fighting Maroons’ output to just 14 points by the end of first period.
UP’s Jarell Lim scored eight points in the second period to reduce the gap, 34-41, at the halftime break.
But the Green Archers remained dominant in the third period keeping a seven-point lead, 55-48, at the start of payoff period. They sustained the aggression until the last quarter overcoming UP’s last minute rally.
La Salle’s win stopped UP’s two-game winning run. The Maroons now hold a 3-7 win-loss record.
Paul Desiderio finished with 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Fighting Maroons.
In the second game, University of Santo Tomas (UST) snapped a five-game losing streak by outlasting National University (NU), 73-69, through the combined effort of Dean Lee, Louie Vigil and Jon Sheriff.
Lee had 22 points while Vigil posted 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Playmaker Sheriff registered 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the field, four assists and six steals. The Growling Tigers now carry a 3-7 win-loss record.
“We just have to play our game and fight,” said UST coach Boy Sablan during the postgame interview.
Matt Salem led NU with 20 points while Alfred Aroga finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.
The Bulldogs’ win-loss record fell to 4-5.
Games cancelled because of Karen
Meanwhile, the UAAP canceled today’s Season 78 men’s basketball doubleheader at the Arena in San Juan City featuring defending champion Far Eastern University vs University of the East, and Adamson University vs Ateneo de Manila University, because of inclement weather caused by Typhoon Karen. Metro Manila was placed under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 2 as of Saturday afternoon.
The UAAP also cancelled the table tennis matches at the Blue Eagle Gym, as well as the high school volleyball games at the Adamson University Gym. The matches will be rescheduled to a later date, according to UAAP President Fr. Ermito de Sagon of host University of Santo Tomas.