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Archers with their 5th straight win; showed no mercy to Growling Tigers

Ricci Rivero and La Salle pushed UST further into humiliation.
By Sabrina Suarez

PASAY CITY -- "We started out slow, and then sabi ni Coach don't take this lightly kasi parang nothing to lose nga, and parang relaxed nila maglaro. Sabi niya stick to the system and defense talaga."

Those were the words of Ricci Rivero who had another well-played game, alongside the Green Archers, and player of the game, Ben Mbala defeated the Growling Tigers, 94-59, in the Mall of Asia Arena.

After a slow opening period, it was seen that the Archers could not get their game going right away as they missed their first few field goals early in the quarter. The offense began for the Archers with Ricci Rivero's 3-pt shot, which then led to Ben Mbala's back-to-back field goals that extended their lead by 3, 4-7.

Come the beginning of the 2nd quarter, the Tigers still tried to trail the Archers as they were able to cut the lead down to 4, 18-22. Though the Archers started pulling away, with the additional help of the back-to-back steals by Brent Paraiso. A timeout was called at the 4:36 mark as there was a small commotion between Coach Aldin and the officials regarding the call for the ball possession from the last play between UST's Marvin Lee and DLSU's Aljun Melecio. In the remaining time of the 2nd period, the Archers began pulling away, with the help of Ricci Rivero sliding through the defense, and Ben Mbala's 3 consecutive blocks. The Archers close the first half with Andrei Caracut's 3-point shot, which extended their lead to 21, 24-45.

Come the 3rd period, and after not making any shots out of his 5 attempts from the 3-point line, Aljun Melecio finally knocked one in at the 7:31 mark which extended their lead to 27, 28-55. Late into the quarter, Ricci Rivero was called for a technical foul for second infraction on faking a foul.

In the 6:13 mark of the 4th quarter, Coach Ayo decided to put in Ramil Tero, Gabe Capacio, and Brent Paraiso alongside Justin Baltazar and Abu Tratter to finish the game.

Despite the both of them playing less than 20 minutes, Mbala and  Rivero were still able to lead the scoreboards. Mbala led the team with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal; while the latter finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 rebound.

When asked about what his comments were regarding the matter that he only played 19 minutes and 33 seconds, he said "I was able to rest. It also means that the second group is also doing well."; he added "We know that we need to start the Final Four really strong, and me having a little bit of minutes to rest, that's fine with me."

Both teams will have their next match on November 4 at Araneta Coliseum. The Growling Tigers will be facing the Blue Eagles at 2pm, while the Green Archers will be facing the Bulldogs right after, at 4pm.

The Scores:

La Salle 94 – Mbala 17, Rivero R 16, Go 12, Rivero P 10, Tratter 8, Caracut 7, Melecio 6, Santillan 6, Capacio 5, Baltazar 4, Montalbo 2, Paraiso 1, Tero 0, Gonzales 0

UST 59 – Lee 25, Akomo 14, Sta. Ana 4, De Guzman 4, Basibas 4, Escalambre 4, Macasaet 2, Soriano 2, Faundo 0, Caunan 0, Romero 0, Kwawukumey 0

Quarter Scores: 20-16, 45-24, 77-41, 94-59

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