Manila, Philippines – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers proved why their team were considered among the favorites to win the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 men’s basketball championship title after an impressive demolition of the University of Santo Thomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 100-62, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The unstoppable recruit Ben Mbala had another stellar game as he posted 18 points and 16 rebounds while Jeron Teng added 13 points – 10 of those in a dominant second half for the DSU.
Thomas Torres completed 11 points while Abu Tratter showcased another performance-level game with 10 points and nine rebounds. Four other DLSU Green Archers players managed to put up seven or more.
The Green Archers has now won three consecutive games after a tough victory over the defending champion Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in their season opener and a rout of UP Fighting Maroons in their most recent game.
The Growling Tigers managed to stood up in its battle in the first half, sweeping by just four in the opening period and by nine at the second half.
But the UST were not geared up to survive a second half offensively from the DLSU, which took the third- and fourth-quarters by 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The DLSU managed to put up a total of 29 points in the third period and 27 in the fourth while only allowing the UST to post 27 points in the entire second half of the game.
The Green Archers’ relentless pressure defense also forced a jaw dropping 40 turnovers on the Growling Tigers side. With that said, it resulted in 38 more shot attempts for the La Salle in the game. The DLSU also blocked about eight shots led by rookie Justine Baltazar, who knocked five of Santo Thomas attempts despite playing in just over 12 minutes.
DLSU – Mbala 18, Teng 13, Torres 11, Tratter 10, Melecio 8, Montalbo 8, Sargent 7, Go 7, R. Rivero 5, Caracut 5, P. Rivero 3, Paraiso 3, Baltazar 2, Dyke 0.
UST – Subido 18, Sherrif 11, Faundo 5, Vigil 5, Basibas 5, Afoakwah 4, Lao 4, Macasaet 3, Bonleon 3, Caunan 2, Huang 2, De Guzman 0, Lee 0, Arana 0.
Quarter-by-Quarter: 23-19, 44-35, 73-49, 100-62.