DLSU outworks high-flying Adamson for third win in a row

DLSU outworks high-flying Adamson for third win in a row
GOIN’ TO WORK. Ricci Rivero and Santi Santillan energized DLSU right through Adamson and all the way to a third win in a row.

Adamson University had all the highlights, but De La Salle University had all the hustle on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

All that tireless work paid off in a big way as the Green Archers yet again got the better of the Soaring Falcons, 80-74, for their third consecutive victory in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Ben Mbala remained a force even with a quiet, for his standards, 15-point, 17-rebound double-double while Santi Santillan was all over the place to energize the defending champions. “This game was a test of character for all of us. This is a good thing kasi it will help us as a team,” Ricci Rivero said post-game.

Adamson was pushing all the right buttons in the first half and even had a 10-point lead before DLSU finally figured things out.

Coming in for the foul-plagued Prince Rivero in the third quarter, Santillan outhustled all of their opponents and had four points coming off offensive rebounds in the 8-2 run that erased a two-point deficit and erected a 56-50 advantage for their team.

That was far from the end of it, however, as Kib Montalbo's unsportsmanlike foul on Tyrus Hill put the Soaring Falcons on top, 72-71, inside the last two minutes.

The Green Archers wasted no time in recovering and found Andrei Caracut for a booming triple from the top of the key for the go-ahead basket.

After the two teams traded defensive stops, Santillan then beat Hill for a short stab that put up a 76-72 edge for them.

That margin would prove to be more than enough in the defending champions’ rise to 8-2 – still solo second.

The transferee from University of the Visayas wound up with a career-high 16 points on top of 10 rebounds and two assists to finish the game outworking his counterpart in Hill who had eight markers, two boards, two dimes, and a couple of highlight reel dunks.

“Sobrang magic bunot si Santi. Nung first, nag-start siya tapos ang tagal niyang nabangko,” Rivero shared. “Yun pala, may plan pala si coach. Santi will do everything to help the team.”

Rivero topped the scoring column with 17 points while Kib Montalbo peppered 10 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

For Adamson, Jerrick Ahanmisi and Papi Sarr had 17 points apiece to show the way.

Unable to sustain their hot start, however, they dropped their second in the last three games. Still, they stand in third-place holding a 6-3 record.

BOX SCORES

DLSU 80 – Rivero R 17, Santillan 16, Mbala 15, Montalbo 10, Rivero P 7, Melecio 5, Tratter 5, Caracut 3, Baltazar 2, Go 0

ADAMSON 74 – Ahanmisi 17, Sarr 17, Espeleta 12, Manalang 11, Hill 8, Lojera 3, Manganti 2, Ochea 2, Bernardo 2, Pingoy 0, Zaldivar 0, Mustre 0, Chua 0, Frias 0

QUARTER SCORES: 13-17, 35-35, 58-54, 80-74

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