Teng returns in a flourish as Green Archers make it 9-0

DLSU Team skipper Jeron Teng hardly missed a beat in his return from injury. 
By Ricky Manliguis

QUEZON CITY—Welcome back Jeron Teng.

Back from an injury, the cerebral captain delivered a solid game as La Salle is on course to a guaranteed Final Four slot with a 78-72 win over University of the Philippines  on a rainy Saturday in the UAAP LXXIX men’s seniors basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

Sidelined for a week due to a foot problem, Teng pumped in 21 points as the Archers fended off a stubborn Maroons squad enough for its ninth win in as many games, while also snapping UP’s two-game winning streak.

The Taft-based team also gave Coach Aldin Ayo a perfect gift for his 39th birthday.

The veteran swingman went on a tear early, dropping eight in the opening quarter to give La Salle a comfortable 25-14 lead at period’s end.

While the Katipunan-based squad fought back to go within single digits twice in the ballgame, the Archers fired an 11-2 closing salvo ignited by an Aljun Melecio trifecta, before Teng finished it off with his last three points to seal the deal.

Teng also finished with five rebounds, all from the offensive glass, while adding two assists and two steals on 8-for-21 from the field (38 percent). Ben Mbala recorded another double-double with 17 points and 20 boards.

Thomas Torres was the third Archer in twin digits with 13.

La Salle vaunted its “mayhem” defense anew, forcing the Maroons to a game-high 33 turnovers converted to 26 TO points, while its dominating presence inside proved evident in the rebounds department, 52-39.

UP dropped to its seventh loss in 10 outings, as Paul Desiderio topscored with 16 points and eight rebounds. Jett Manuel and Javier Gomez De LiaƱo chipped in 13 and 11, respectively.

The scores:
La Salle 78 — Teng 21, Mbala 17, Torres 13, Melecio 9, R. Rivero 8, P. Rivero 4, Montalbo 3, Caracut 2, Tratter 0, Perkins 0, Baltazar 0, Go 0.
UP 72 — Desiderio 16, Manuel 13, Gomez De Liano 11, Lim 8, Moralde 7, Harris 4, Prado 4, Lao 4, Espanloa 3, Dario 2, Webb 0, Romero 0, Vito 0, Jaboneta 0.
Quarterscores: 25-14; 41-34; 55-48; 78-72.

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero