Archers crush Warriors, nail seat in Final 4

TAKING control early, the defending champion La Salle Green Archers took their game with the University of the East Warriors quite seriously in the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.

The Green Archers leaned on the big plays of  Ben Mbala and the Rivero brothers, Prince and Ricci, in the first 10 minutes. 

From there, the Green Archers  went on to finish strong with a 99-78 swamping of the Warriors yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Mbala ended his almost 25-minute stint on the floor with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Leonard Santillan had 14 points and 11 boards.

Their fourth straight victory gave them a 9-2 win-loss record and the second Final Four semifinals seat.

Mbala and the Rivero brothers ignited a 14-4 run with their inside and outside presence as La Salle nursed a 28-18 spread at the end of the period.

Never letting go of their edge, the Green Archers went on to finish with a 53-34 lead at halftime.

The Warriors, now on the brink of elimination at 3-8, drew big baskets from Alvin Pasaol, who shot 23 points.

The Green Archers’ straight up defense on the prolific Pasaol held him to just four points in the third as La Salle stayed ahead, 77-75, when the third period was over.

“Sabi ni coach, huwag kayo mag-rely sa score lang. Kailangan, maglaro kayo ayon sa mga pangyayari ng game,” said Rivero, who spoke on behalf coach Aldin Ayo.

Ayo has been lying low for the last six games. He has been silent about the team’s fortunes this season. And so far, he has not openly talked about La Salle’s campaign recently.

Games Saturday 

(MOA Arena)

2 p.m. UE vs Ateneo

4 p.m. FEU vs UP

Topics: La Salle Green Archers , University of the East Warriors , 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament
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