DLSU bullies archrival Ateneo by 16 points to sweep first round

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 02, 2016 06:26 PM
DLSU bullies Ateneo by 16 points to sweep first round
LEAVING NO DOUBT. Ben Mbala was more than enough for DLSU to overcome the absence of head coach Aldin Ayo and team captain Jeron Teng.

The first rivalry game between De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament was over and done late in the third quarter.

It was at that point that off a turnover, Thomas Torres got ahead of the pack only to lob the ball back to a trailing Ben Mbala.

The hulking Cameroonian skied high before slamming the ball down to provide the highest of highlights in the Green Archers’ definite destruction of their archrival Blue Eagles, 97-81, on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

Even without suspended head coach Aldin Ayo and injured team captain Jeron Teng, the league-leaders still had more than enough to put the finishing touches on a first round sweep. “This game is a testament to what coach Aldin taught his players. Naging responsable sila buong game and we didn’t have any problems,” acting coach Louie Gonzales said.

Mbala totaled 28 points, 13 rebounds, five steals, one block, and more than a few dunks in the all-out domination that made sure DLSU remained perfect through seven games. Andrei Caracut chipped in 14 points and 14 of the 15 players sent in contributed in the scoring column.

Still, Ateneo was actually ahead, 26-20, at the 8:52 mark of the second quarter until Mbala fueled a murderous 21-3 tear in the next five minutes that blew the game wide open in favor of the Archers, 41-29. In all, in the last nine minutes of the second quarter, the green side outscored the blue side, 33-9.

Turning the tides then was, of course, full-on “mayhem” with many of the DLSU points coming from turnovers leading to fastbreaks. “I told them right from the start to make life really hard for Ateneo in every possession. Kailangan mapunta kami sa ulo ng kalaban namin – yun ang ‘mayhem,’” Gonzales said.

In the end, the Archers frustrated their opponents into 30 turnovers which were quickly converted into 33 big points.

The 16-point margin of victory was largest in 11 years in the country’s most heated rivalry. DLSU’s biggest win against Ateneo still stands at 24 points, 94-70, back in July 15, 2000.

For the Eagles, it was Adrian Wong who topped the scoring column with 15 points. Falling victim to the league-leaders, much like the six other teams before them, however, they slipped to 4-3.

BOX SCORES

DLSU 97 – Mbala 28, Caracut 14, Tratter 10, Torres 8, Montalbo 8, Rivero R 8, Melecio 5, Perkins 5, Dyke 4, Baltazar 2, Go 2, Paraiso 2, Rivero P 1, Sargent 0

ATENEO 81 – Wong 15, Nieto Ma 13, Asistio 11, Ravena 11, Mendoza 9, Ikeh 7, Porter 6, Go 5, Babilonia 2, Nieto Mi 2, Tolentino 0, Verano 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-20, 53-36, 80-58, 97-81

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