No rest for undefeated La Salle

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De La Salle University’s Ben Mbala tries to score against Andrew Harris of University of the Philippines during the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament.   RUSSELL PALMA

De La Salle University’s Ben Mbala tries to score against Andrew Harris of University of the Philippines during the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament.
RUSSELL PALMA

No long weekend for De La Salle University as coach Aldin Ayo resumes the team’s training to prepare for their last two games in the elimination round of University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament.

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Ayo said the Green Archers spent a two-day team building in Pampanga before returning to training on Monday. He only allowed his players to take a one-day leave on November 1 (Tuesday).

“Our game will be on Saturday against Ateneo that’s why we are resuming our training on Monday after a two-day break last week,” Ayo told The Manila Times during phone interview. “There are still more things to learn. We are not in the level that we’re wanted to be.”

Despite holding a league-leading 12-0 win-loss record, enough to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four, the unbeaten Green Archers remain cautious as they area scheduled to face archrival Ateneo De Manila University and title contender Far Eastern University.

“We are still 80 percent in our offense and defense. We are not completed yet as a team,” said Ayo, who steered Letran to last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association title. “The good thing is we’re improving each game. I’m telling the players that there are still a lot of work to do. But I’m confident of sweeping the elimination round.”

La Salle’s skipper Jeron Teng, who averaged 16.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in seven games, will be spearheading the team’s campaign together with Cameroonian Ben Mbala, Jason Perkins, Andrei Caracut, Thomas Torres, Kim Montalbo and Abu Tratter.

If La Salle sweeps the elimination, they will earn an automatic spot in the best-of-three Finals.

JOSEF T. RAMOS

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