Earlier today at the Araneta Coliseum, the DLSU Green Archers proved their resilience in taking down the UE Red Warriors, 106-100. In the losing effort, UE’s Alvin Pasaol was dominant on both ends of the court, recording a career high of 49 points, eight rebounds, and four steals. Philip Manalang and Mark Olayon added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
On the other hand, Ben Mbala spearheaded the DLSU Green Archers, scoring 39 points and 15 rebounds. Abu Tratter added 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Andrei Caracut was the only other DLSU player who scored in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Frenetic first half
Kib Montalbo started the game strong with a three-point opener for DLSU. Olayon and Pasaol took turns in keeping the score within reach for the Red Warriors. UE got its first lead in the game when Manalang and Nick Abanto converted back-to-back free throws. It was then followed by a UE turnover, which Ramil Tero capitalized on with his own set of free throws. A close game ensued all throughout the first period but La Salle ended the quarter with the Green Archers holding on to a four-point lead, 28-24.
The second period began in favor of the Green Archers as they outpaced UE with a 6-0 scoring run, capped off by a P. Rivero layup. As UE struggled to convert baskets, Pasaol made the first basket for the Red Warriors at the 8:10 mark. With 3:54 remaining in the first half, the duo of Mbala and Caracut combined for five consecutive made free throws. The Red Warriors were backed up solely by the efforts of Pasaol who scored his team’s 17 points out of the total of 18 in this quarter alone. Brent Paraiso capped of the first half of the game with a successful free throw to end the period at 54-42.
Thrilling second half
The third quarter started with a lay-up from Santi Santillian to push the lead to 56-42. Both teams then continued to answer basket after basket in the first four minutes of the second half. DLSU had several chances due to the numerous fouls committed by the Red Warriors, and they heavily capitalized on it as Mbala scored six points from the free throw line in the quarter. The Green-and-White made good use of the charity stripe as they garnered a total of 33 out of their 36 free throws. The third quarter ended with DLSU still in the lead with 17 points, 80-63.
Despite scoring a total of 37 points in the fourth quarter, 11 more points compared to La Salle’s 26, the Red Warriors were not able to get the lead back.
With only two minutes left in the game, the Red Warriors started to close the gap with Pasaol and Manalang who capitalized on La Salle’s turnovers as UE went on a 14-0 run. It was only with the efforts of Mbala, an alley-oop that he slammed down, and Tratter’s second chance points that kept the lead with DLSU. The game ended with the score at 106-100, to improve La Salle’s standing to five wins and one loss.
After the game, assistant coach Miguel Solitaria mentions how despite dominating the first 36 minutes of the game, the team started to slack off in the last few minutes, “Siguro factor na we were up for 25 points, so medyo nag-relax kami doon.” (I guess it is because we were up for 25 points, so we kind of relaxed at that time).
At the same time, in preparation for the next game against their archrival ADMU, Solitaria conveyed how the team gradually improved over the last two games, “Actually, the best thing here is that for the last two games, against UST and UE, we average 27 assists, I think that’s the biggest improvement that we’ve got, part of that is our maturity as a player and because of that we became a better team and I guess we’ll be ready for this coming Sunday’s game.”
The Green Archers will resume its UAAP Season 80 campaign versus their archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles on Sunday, October 8, at 4 pm in the Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 106 – Mbala 39, Tratter 24, Caracut 11, P. Rivero 8, R. Rivero 8, Montalbo 5, Santillan 4, Paraiso 3, Tero 2, Baltazar 2, Capacio 0, Go 0, Gonzales 0
UE 100 – Pasaol 49, Manalang 14, Olayon 13, Bartolome 6, Varilla 5, Acuno 4, Derige 4, Maloles 2, Abanto 2, Cullar 1, Conner 0
28-24, 54-42, 80-63, 106-100