The DLSU Green Archers proved their resilience in taking down the Flying V Thunder, 88-72, earlier today in an exhibition match held at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Ben Mbala was dominant on both ends of the court, recording 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks in the victory. Santi Santillan added 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Andrei Caracut was the only other DLSU player who scored in double figures, finishing with 17 points.
In the losing effort of Flying V, which consisted of six former DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng and Eric Salamat added 24 and 19 points, respectively.
“Every time we play against each other, we have to push each other to the limit para mas matulungan. If you want to help your players or your team mates, you have to push them para matuto,” head coach Aldin Ayo shared to his team prior to the game.
The first period began in favor of the Thunder as they outpaced DLSU with a 7-0 scoring run sparked by a Salamat three-pointer. Mbala and Caracut converted baskets for the Green-and-White through put-back layups and corner three-pointers, respectively. Teng and Torres had their own share of points for the Thunder, scoring from layups and converted three-point plays. Capacio then ignited a 7-0 run for La Salle off a midrange jumper. The first quarter ended with Flying V holding on to a two point lead, 19-17.
With both teams trading baskets, Santillan paced the Green Archers during the opening moments of the second quarter. On the other hand, Flying V banked on Salamat’s consistent three-point shooting from the corner as he amassed a total of 9 points from the same spot. La Salle continued to trail the Thunder throughout the period, but the Green Archer’s tenacity on defense continued all throughout, leading to numerous transition baskets. Flying V narrowly edged the Green Archers at halftime, 44-43.
As both teams struggled to convert baskets, Mbala made the first basket of the second half at the 7:08 mark. Subsequently, Santillan tied the game at 47-all on a putback. The Green Archers managed to go on a 10-2 run, capped off by a Ricci Rivero layup off an assist from Melecio. Teng scored four points in the third period alone as La Salle took a 63-55 lead heading into the final period.
La Salle remained sharp on both ends of the floor as Paraiso and Mbala opened the final period with back-to-back three-pointers. Tension was raised anew as Abu Tratter and former Green Archer Gab Banal were both ejected for trash talking. With 2:39 remaining in the game, the duo of Santillan and Mbala combined for six consecutive made free throws. In the end, the Green Archers were steadfast, as a Go three-point jumper sealed the score at 88-72.
After the game, DLSU head coach Aldin Ayo shared that although the match was a tune-up game, the players exhibited the same intensity as if it were a normal game. “We’re in the process of establishing our system, lahat ng ginagawa namin sa practice and game, alam namin na magiging habit namin.”
(“We’re in the process of establishing our system, everything that we do in practice and in the game, we know that all these will become our habits.)
The Green Archers will return to the FilOil Flying V Centre when they take on the San Beda Red Lions on Friday, May 28, at 5 pm.
DLSU 88 – Mbala 19, Santillan 17, Caracut 17, R. Rivero 7, Tratter 7, Capacio 6, Paraiso 5, Melecio 4, Tero 3, Go 3, Gonzales 0
Flying V 72 – Teng 24, Salamat 19, Torres 12, Colina 6, Mendoza 4, Banal 2, Tampus 2, Gamboa 2, Austria 1, Thiele 0, Webb 0
Quarter scores: 17-19, 43-44, 63-55, 88-72