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La Salle repeats dominance over Ateneo, battles Arellano in FilOil final

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--La Salle once again asserted their mastery over Ateneo to claim the other seat in the final of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup with a 92-77 semifinal win at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday night.

The Green Archers, who entered the game with only ten players, buried 11 triples, five coming from rookie Aljun Melecio, and forced the Blue Eagles to 22 turnovers to set up a championship showdown on Sunday with the Arellano Chiefs, who clinched the first final berth earlier Friday.

Thomas Torres led five La Salle players in double figures with 17 points, while Ben Mbala added 16 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, one block, and two steals.

Kib Montalbo played efficiently as facilitator for the Archers, dishing out five assists without any turnover while scoring seven markers.

Teng, who injured his left ankle in their quarterfinal match-up against FEU on Tuesday, still got to play on Friday night but went scoreless in 15 minutes of play.

Aaron Black led Ateneo, which will take on NU in a consolation game for third place also on Sunday, with 24 points, nine rebounds, and two assists.

With Active Consultant Tab Baldwin heading to Greece for Gilas' European training camp, Head Coach Sandy Arespacochaga had to lead the Eagles tactics-wise at his lonesome.

Box Scores:

La Salle 92-Torres 17, Mbala 16, Melecio 15, Tratter 14, Caracut 13, Montalbo 7, Go 6, Gob 2, P. Rivero 2, Teng 0

Ateneo 77-Black 24, Ravena 10, Wong 8, Porter 7, Tolentino 7, Ikeh 6, Go 4, Asistio 3, Ma. Nieto 2, Babilonia 2, Allmond 2, Mendoza 2, Banzon 0

Quarterscores: 27-14, 48-40, 66-56, 92-77

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno