DLSU leaves no doubt in exacting revenge against UP
THE RIGHT WAY. Ben Mbala made sure DLSU was getting back at UP.
The University of the Philippines needed a perfect game to upset De La Salle University.
All the defending champions needed was their usual game to restore order in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Ben Mbala manhandled everybody thrown at him while also shutting down Paul Desiderio as the Green Archers crushed the confidence of the Fighting Maroons with an emphatic 85-62 win on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The reigning and defending MVP imposed his will to the tune of 27 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks and played the part of primary defender on Desiderio.
With the six-foot-seven Mbala on him, the King Maroon only had seven points in 2-of-13 shooting.
Still, it was when Mbala was on the bench when DLSU broke away. Ricci Rivero, Kib Montalbo, Aljun Melecio, and Jollo Go all got together for the 14-0 spurt that turned a one-point deficit in the middle of the first into a 27-14 advantage at the start of the second.
They would not look back from there all the way to a second straight win that hikes their record to 7-2.
Rivero wound up with 20 points while Montalbo finally shook off his struggles with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists, and one assist.
In the first round meeting between the two teams, all went right for UP en route to a 98-87 shocker of a win. Then, Desiderio had a career-high 30 points.
Without a doubt, that wasn’t happening again as both their shots and their stops went missing. In all, they only converted 33.3 percent of their shots.
Jun Manzo was the lone double-digit scorer for them with 13 points as they lost for the fourth time in the last five games. Now at 4-5, they stand at fifth-place.
DLSU 85 – Mbala 27, Rivero R 20, Montalbo 12, Go 8, Santillan 7, Rivero P 3, Baltazar 3, Melecio 3, Caracut 2, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Tero 0
UP 62 – Manzo 13, Ouattara 9, Desiderio 7, Gomez de Liano Ju 7, Gomez de Liano Ja 6, Lim 6, Vito 6, Webb 5, Jaboneta 3, Dario 0, Harris 0, Romero 0, Lao 0
QUARTER SCORES: 24-14, 51-27, 65-45, 85-62
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.