Yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, the DLSU Green Archers crushed the UST Growling Tigers, 109-81, to improve to a 2-1 win-loss standing. With 20 seconds remaining in the game, multiple players were thrown out after La Salle’s Ramil Tero and UST’s Marvin Lee engaged in a fistfight.
“You always have to use your head, whatever you do, your actions must lead to [an] outward purpose, which is to win the game,” DLSU Head Coach Aldin Ayo shared what he said to Tero after the game.
Ben Mbala led the Green Archers after posting 21 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in the victory. Aljun Melecio also chipped in 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Ricci Rivero finished with 17 points and four rebounds. In their losing effort, Marvin Lee led the Growling Tigers with 18 points, as Steve Akomo and Jordan Sta. Ana added 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Early on, DLSU capitalized on the Growling Tigers’ turnovers as Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut converted early three-pointers to set the tempo of the game. Behind Lee and Sta. Ana, UST could not find a rhythm as it failed to capitalize on layups and midrange jumpers. Furthermore, Mbala made his presence felt on both ends of the floor as La Salle took a 36-21 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the team from Taft assert its dominance furthermore, particularly on the pick and roll. Mbala continued to control the tempo of the game as he received valuable support from Ricci Rivero.
Eventually, the Thomasians would fight their way back to trim the Lasallian lead to 10 points behind Akomo’s midrange shooting. The Growling Tigers’ efforts were eventually overcome by the Green Archers’ fluid play as Melecio and Caracut capitalized on easy layups and three-pointers to give La Salle a 55-37 lead at halftime.
As the trio of Sta Ana, Zach Huang, and Christian Garcia opened the third period in favor of the Growling Tigers, sealing three unanswered layups, Mbala and Caracut were able to chip in free throws for the Green-and-White.
The Green Archers only gained momentum in the second half when Prince Rivero converted a jumpshot which initiated a 6-0 run for DLSU. UST would go on to spark a scoring run of its own, but Kib Montalbo would convert a layup before the buzzer to give La Salle a 13 point lead at the end of the third period, 79-66.
The fourth quarter was highlighted by La Salle going on a 20-0 scoring run and eventually leading the team from Espana by as many as 30 points. With only two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lee remained steadfast for UST as he went on to score off a layup and four free throws.
With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Tero and Lee were engaged in a one-on-one situation which eventually broke into a fistfight. The situation caused a commotion between the two teams which resulted in 10 players being thrown out, namely R. Rivero, Gabe Capacio, and Santi Santillan from DLSU, along with Sta. Ana, Carlos Escalambre, Christian Garcia, Jeepy Faundo, Zach Huang, Wendell De Guzman, and Edwin Caño from UST.
The game was eventually resumed as La Salle sealed victory over the Growling Tigers, 109-81.
After the game, Ayo also showed his displeasure over the officiating and said, “I got a technical foul for defending Ricci kanina, pinapractice ng bata tapos pagdating sa court, na-nenegate dahil sa bad call.” He explained further and said, “Mahirap kasi may mga galaw na pinaghirapan, it’s unfair for the players and for the coaches as well.”
(I got a technical foul for defending Ricci earlier, he shows up in practice and works hard and on the court, his efforts are negated because of a bad call. It’s difficult because we work hard for this. It’s unfair for the players and for the coaches as well.)
Despite their large winning margin, Ayo still sees room for improvement for the Green Archers, particularly in taking care of the ball. “Kulang pa, ang dami naming turnovers. Meron silang [UST] 42 tapos meron kaming 28, so madami pa kami na tinapon.”
(We’re still lacking [in execution] and we had so many turnovers. They had 42 and we had 28 so we still committed many errors.)
La Salle will return to the FilOil Flying V Centre versus the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates on Friday, May 19, at 5 pm.
DLSU 109– Mbala 21, Melecio 17, R. Rivero 17, Montalbo 14, P. Rivero 12, Caracut 11, Baltazar 6, Tratter 5, Santillan 4, Go 2, Gonzales 0, Paraiso 0, Capacio 0, Tero 0
UST 81– Lee 18, Akomo 16, Sta. Ana 10, Garcia 9, Huang 8, Faundo 7, Basibas 4, Escalambre 4, Afoakwah 2, Garrido 2, De Guzman 1, Soriano 0, Lorenzana 0, Caunan 0, Romero 0, Yabut 0, Santos 0
Quarter scores: 36-21, 55-37, 79-66, 109-81