Rookie Ben Mbala and skipper Jeron Teng went on a scoring rampage throughout the game delivering De La Salle University to another convincing victory to stay unbeaten in 12 games in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament.
The Green Archers, maximizing their height advantage to the fullest, routed the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 95-66, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum to move closer to a sweet sweep of the two-round eliminations.
Mbala piled up his 12th double-double by establishing 26 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the field plus 20 rebounds and four blocks. He also made 12-of-14 attempts in the free throw line to lead the Green Archers to a league-leading 12-0 win-loss record.
“The level of our game is now rising but there are some aspects that we still need to work on,” La Salle coach Aldin Ayo told reporters during the post game interview. “Right now all I can say is we’re playing as a team and we’re sharing the basketball. The players are maturing also.”
Teng sizzled 14 of his 20 points in the second half on 10-of-21 shooting in the field, while Tomas Torres posted 11 points and Aljun Melecio contributed nine points also for the Green Archers, who overpowered the Red Warriors in the rebounding department, 71-34.
La Salle’s big men Abu Tratter and Jason Perkins grabbed 13 and 12 rebounds, respectively. The Green Archers also had 34 offensive rebounds compared to the Red Warriors’ 13, giving them 30 second chance points over six of their opponent.
The Green Archers also went to the foul line 40 times and converted 29 free throws against the Red Warriors’ 7-of-15. UE committed 33 fouls while La Salle only had 23.
Mbala performed well in the opening quarter, scoring 10 points in the early part of the game to provide the Green Archers a 24-15 lead entering the second period. They widened up the gap to more than 20 points in the next three quarters and didn’t look back the rest of the way.
Alvin Pasaol led UE with 17 points. The Red Warriors dropped to 2-9 win-loss record.
In the second game, University of the Philippines stunned National University, 71-66, to stay alive in the Final Four race.
The Fighting Maroons improved to 4-8 while the Bulldogs absorbed their sixth straight loss to share the fifth spot with UP with the same record.