Green Archers stamp class on Bulldogs for sixth straight
MUSCLE MEN. Ben Mbala was no match for NU.
There was no shootout between De La Salle University and National University on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Instead, the defending champion Green Archers outclassed the upstart Bulldogs, 101-76, for their sixth consecutive victory on the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Ben Mbala remained a force with 30 points and eight rebounds to carry his team to 11-2 – assured of a twice-to-beat advantage and still in the running for the top spot.
It was also the reigning MVP who did the heavy lifting in the 23-9 blast that boosted DLSU from a slight two-point margin late in the first to a big 43-27 advantage in the middle of the second.
They would never be threatened the rest of the way.
The last time the two teams met, the Green Archers turned back the good fight put up by the Bulldogs, 115-110.
There wasn’t going to be a close contest in this one as the defending champions led by double-digits for most of the matchup.
Ricci Rivero was yet again right there to provide backup for Mbala with 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
The rest of DLSU’s key cogs didn’t even have to score much as they were already resting in the endgame.
The easy win was much welcome for them as they now turn their attention to a rematch with archrival Ateneo de Manila University to end the eliminations.
On the other hand, NU goes back to the drawing board, now needing to win out in its remaining games to give itself a chance at the playoffs. J-Jay Alejandro and Enzo Joson showed the way for them in this one with 20 points apiece.
With a 4-8 standing, they find themselves farther behind Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines who are tied for fourth with similar 5-6 records.
DLSU 101 – Mbala 30, Rivero R 16, Santillan 9, Montalbo 8, Go 8, Caracut 7, Melecio 5, Tratter 5, Paraiso 5, Baltazar 4, Rivero P 2, Tero 2, Gonzales 0, Capacio 0
NU 76 – Alejandro 20, Joson 20, Gaye 12, Lastimosa 5, Diputado 4, Rangel 4, Aquino 3, Mosqueda 2, Tibayan 2, Yu 2, Bartlett 2, Cauilan 0, Morido 0, Flores 0, Abatayo 0
QUARTER SCORES: 26-20, 47-35, 73-57, 101-76
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.