DLSU bucks Ayo’s absence, UE’s rally to stay unscathed
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 28, 2016 07:27 PM
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW. Andrei Caracut and Prince Rivero's best performances of the season were enough to power DLSU through UE.
Coach Aldin Ayo borrowed the eyeglasses of assistant Siot Tanquincen to help his opinions on officiating be made clear at the MOA Arena, Wednesday.
The fiery mentor got himself ejected for the gesture, but it did just enough to light a fire under De La Salle University.
Andrei Caracut scored all of his nine points in the final frame and Prince Rivero made the most of his minutes as the Green Archers endured a very game University of the East in an 84-78 decision – also making it clear that they are the one and only league-leaders in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Ayo was sent back to the locker room late in the first half after charging inside the court and offering Tanquincen’s eyeglasses to a game official. He was complaining about a missed call on starting pointman Thomas Torres.
Describing what was going through their minds then, Caracut said, “Nung nawala si coach Aldin, nag-iba talaga. It was tough, pero nawala man si coach Aldin physically, he was there with us all throughout the game.”
He then continued, “He did that for us. He was just protecting us.”
Indeed, inspired by the loss of their mentor, the Green Archers buried their opponents by as much as 18 points in the third on the back of Ben Mbala who pounded in eight of his 19 points in the quarter. Caracut and Aljun Melecio then took over in the final frame and connived for the last seven points in a 10-0 run that put them up, 72-58.
However, the Red Warriors kept coming and pulled to within 74-78 with 1:39 remaining only to see Caracut get open, rise up, and launch a cold-blooded dagger of a triple.
UE kept threatening and even neared to 78-81 with 16 seconds to go, but Kib Montalbo and Prince Rivero wrapped up DLSU’s sixth consecutive victory to start the season by converting three of their four charities. “During the crisis of the game, we just stuck to the system. With God’s blessing, we got the win,” Rivero expressed.
Mbala posted a 19-point, 17-rebound double-double while Rivero contributed 11 points and eight rebounds to make sure the league-leaders kept rolling heading into their rivalry game with Ateneo de Manila University.
Alvin Pasaol paced UE again with 22 points. His second straight strong showing, however, came in their sixth loss in a row.
DLSU 84 – Mbala 19, Baltazar 14, Rivero P 11, Montalbo 9, Caracut 9, Teng 7, Melecio 5, Torres 4, Go 4, Perkins 2, Tratter 0, Paraiso 0, Rivero R 0
UE 78 – Pasaol 22, Batiller 13, Varilla 8, Derige 8, Manalang 7, Palma 7, De Leon 4, Bartolome 4, Penuela 4, Charcos 1, Gagate 0, Olayon 0, Abanto 0, Armenion 0, Acuno 0
QUARTER SCORES; 25-15, 44-30, 62-55, 84-78
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