UAAP Season 79 may be months away, but the DLSU Green Archers showed that they mean business even at this point in the preseason after taking down the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 98-88, earlier today in the opening game of the 10th FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup held at the FilOil Arena in San Juan.
Jeron Teng was a man on a mission as he led all scorers with 30 points while adding nine rebounds and three assists in the victory. Gboy Gob showed a vastly improved offensive repertoire in this game, as he finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Ben Mbala added 13 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists for DLSU.
Sean Manganti led the Soaring Falcons with 13 points, while Robbie Manalang and former Green Archer Terrence Mustre added 11 points each. Harold Ng and Dawn Ochea rounded out the double-digit scorers for Adamson as they both finished with 10 points in the loss, with the latter also adding a team-high six rebounds.
It took nearly two minutes for both teams to register a basket as Gob’s shot from the paint sparked a 12-0 run for the Green Archers. Teng and Mbala took turns in scoring on drives to the basket and converting attempts from the free throw line to keep DLSU’s lead in double-digits. Though Adamson threw in the vaunted Pumaren Press to try to rattle their opponents, La Salle ended the first quarter with a commanding 28-17 lead.
Gob helped keep DLSU ahead by a comfortable margin entering the second quarter, but Adamson went on a 15-4 run that tied the game at 32-all with five minutes left before halftime. Abu Tratter and Teng helped end the scoring drought for La Salle, with the latter’s free throws giving the Green Archers a slim 48-45 lead heading into halftime.
Mbala, Gob, and Teng continued to keep DLSU ahead as the second half went underway, but the physicality of the game prevented the Green Archers from pulling away from Adamson. Late in the quarter, Teng scored on a quick lay-up, while Tratter scored on a three-point play with 2:14 left in the third quarter to give La Salle more breathing room, 69-63, heading into the final quarter.
It was still anyone’s game during the early moments of the fourth quarter as Gob and Mbala kept Adamson from taking the lead. Kib Montalbo, who was called for an unsportsmanlike foul early in the quarter, teamed up with rookie Aljun Melecio to extend DLSU’s lead to double digits a few minutes past the midway point of the fourth quarter. AdU would go on one last run after Mustre’s three-pointer cut the margin to single digits, 87-79, with 3:16 left in the game. Teng, Thomas Torres, and Mbala would respond to that run with baskets to hold off their UAAP rivals, 98-88.
DLSU narrowly won the rebounding battle, 40-37, but they were clearly the more efficient team in terms of assists, as they had 19 assists as compared to Adamson’s 13. The Soaring Falcons turned the ball over 33 times versus DLSU’s 29, but they made 19 of their 29 free throw attempts. La Salle struggled at the free throw line despite getting 40 attempts, making only 23 of their chances. Mbala had a tough time at the line, as he made only 3 of his 12 attempts.
The Green Archers will return to the FilOil Arena when they take on the UE Red Warriors on Friday, May 6, at 2 pm.
DLSU 98 – Teng 30, Gob 20, Mbala 13, Montalbo 9, Caracut 7, Torres 6, Tratter 6, Go 4, Melecio 3, Rivero 0
AdU 88 – Manganti 13, Manalang 11, Mustre 11, Ng 10, Ochea 10, Sarr 6, Pasturan 6, Escalambre 6, Ahanmisi 5, Bernardo 4, Cadua 4, Espeleta 2, Garcia 0
Quarterscores: 28-17, 48-45, 69-63, 98-88