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La Salle gets well deserved revenge on UP with an overpowering rout

Too good, too strong. Big Ben had another double-double while shackling Paul Desiderio in the process.
By Sabrina Suarez


Those were the words of the player of the game, Ben Mbala who finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks; after he and the Green Archers defeated Paul Desiderio and the UP Fighting Maroons 85-62, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

In the first meeting of the two teams in MOA Arena last September 23, the Diliman squad was able to escape the Mayhem system of the Taft Avenue squad with a convincing win, 98-87, which also gave the latter their first loss in the season.

Though the hot hands that led the Maroons to their win in their first encounter, Paul Desiderio was limited to just 7 points since he was guarded by the man who is currently leading this season's MVP race, Ben Mbala.

At the beginning of the game, the Archers were the ones who drew first blood as Mbala was able to immediately draw 2 fouls in their first 2 possession, which gave the Archers an early lead, 4-0. Though this did not really affect the Maroons since they kept the fight close.

As early as the first quarter, Mbala made sure to have his present felt as he dunked on UP's center, Andrew Harris.

Also, despite being out for their last two games, starting point guard Aljun Melecio made his presence felt for awhile as he fired a 3-point shot which extended their lead to 6, 20-14. While Jollo Go closed out the 1st quarter and opened the 2nd quarter with 3-point shots which furthered their lead to 27-14.

Throughout the game, a different set of Archers was seen as they were to rotate the ball more, which led to them pulling away the rest of the game, beginning in the 2nd quarter where they limited the Fighting Maroons to just 27 points at the half..

For the second straight game, Ricci Rivero fired 20 points.
Another Archer that's stepping up to the plate is sophomore Ricci Rivero who finished with 20 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. The sophomore star, who's slowly getting his tempo, was making his presence felt on the court offensively and defensively as he also scored most of his points in the final quarter of the game.

In the post-game interview, DLSU assistant Mark Balderrama said that UP was able to make a good adjustment against the Archers' starting five. He also mentioned that their opponents used their quickness, that's why they were able to capitalize and make their outside shots.

Balderrama also added that it was a good thing that the second group was able to give them the energy they needed, and even better that when the first group came back, they were able to maintain that energy.

As for Mbala he said "Well, I feel like everyone was able to do his job. And the thing is, I had a defensive job today. I just stick to it, and things went the right way."

When asked about his thoughts about guarding UP's Paul Desiderio, his statemant was "Well, we had a game plan, and just like what Ricci said, I just have to stick to the game plan. I'm a lot bigger than him; I just need to stay in front of him, even if I get blown by, I'm bigger, I'm faster, I can recover."

Goals were achieved that day as the Archers were able to lock down Desiderio, and then come out with a win.

The Scores:

DLSU - Mbala 27, Ri. Rivero 20, Montalbo 12, Go 8, Santillan 7, Baltazar 3, Melecio 3, Ra. Rivero 3, Caracut 2, Gonzales 0, Tero 0 , Tratter 0

UP -  Manzo 13, Quattara 9, Juan Gomez de Liaño  7, Desiderio 7, Javier Gomez de Liaño 6, Lim 6, Vito 6, Webb 5, Jaboneta 3, Lao 0, Dario 0 , Romero 0, Harris 0

Quarter Scores: 24-14, 51-27, 65-45, 85-62

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