Despite struggling with a sluggish start, the DLSU Green Archers were able to overcome the San Beda Red Lions, 94-85, notching their fourth straight win in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup yesterday afternoon at the FilOil Arena in San Juan City.
Ben Mbala was once again named Player of the Game after leading the Green Archers with 26 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. Jeron Teng recorded his own double-double as well, chipping in 23 points to go along with his 10 boards. Moreover, backup guard Jollo Go was a surprise contributor for DLSU, as he scored 19 points on five made three-pointers.
Davon Potts and AC Soberano spearheaded the charge for San Beda with 18 points apiece. Donald Tankoua added a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Mendiola-based squad, who were dealt their first loss in the tournament. Two former Green Archers, Dan Sara and Robert Bolick, contributed nine and eight points, respectively.
The Red Lions led for most of the first quarter as La Salle struggled to get their offense going. Down by five, 13-8, Teng and Mbala would lead the charge to get their team back into the game. Go would hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 21-all.
La Salle’s second quarter was in disarray from start to finish as the team was only able to score a mere 12 points compared to San Beda’s 19. With only Teng as the reliable scorer for that quarter, the DLSU deficit eventually widened, with the first half ending at 40-33 in favor of the Red Lions.
San Beda would push their lead to 11 points at the start of the second half after Jayvee Mocon scored on a mid-range jump shot that brought the score to 47-36. However, the lead would not last long as Andrei Caracut and Go went on a shooting spree. The duo would nail a combined five three-point shots, one of which gave the Taft-based squad the lead, 60-59, with less than a minute to go in the frame. The Red Lions quickly responded, and managed to take a 62-60 lead heading into the final quarter.
Continuing their momentum from the third period, La Salle would eventually dominate in the last quarter and seal their fourth win in the tournament. The numbers speak for themselves as the Green Archers were able score 34 points in the fourth quarter, 10 of which came from Mbala alone.
In terms of team statistics, La Salle shot well from the field after hitting 45 percent of their field-goal attempts, including 51 percent from within the three-point line. The Green-and-White also had more free throw attempts (22) than their NCAA counterparts (9). Both squads did well in the assists department as the Red Lions dished out 26 assists, while DLSU had 23, a testament to the game’s high scoring result.
La Salle will have one week to rest and recover before they return to the same venue to face head coach Aldin Ayo’s former team, the Letran Knights, next Sunday, May 29, at 3 pm.
DLSU (94) – Mbala 26, Teng 23, Go 19, Caracut 13, Tratter 5, Torres 4, P. Rivero 4, Langston 0, Melecio 0.
SBC (85) – Potts 18, Soberano 18, Tankoua 15, Sara 9, Bolick 8, Noah 7, Mocon 6, Tongco 2, Presbiterio 2, Navarro 0.
Quarter scores: 21-21, 33-40, 60-62, 94-85.