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Archers pick off Warriors

Games Saturday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. – FEU vs UE
4 p.m. – NU vs Ateneo

The La Salle Green Archers gave rival teams another difficult time finding a way to stop their onslaught after posting a third straight lopsided win.

The Green Archers rolled past the University of the East Red Warriors, 95-66, yesterday to post their 12th win of the UAAP basketball tournament while moving two games shy of completing a rare double-round elimination sweep.

La Salle was in control right from the opening tip, but needed a big finishing kick starting late in the third to complete another blowout victory that came after blasting National University by 25 and University of Santo Tomas by 43.

Ben Mbala showed why he is on the verge of becoming the first foreigner in 35 years to bag the Most Valuable Player award by posting 26 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks, even as Jeron Teng added 20 points for the Green Archers.

The last three games saw La Salle winning by a combined margin of 106 points for an average margin of 32.0 points.

“Umaangat na yung level ng laro namin,” said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, who despite the impressive showing is not in a good mood to be carried away by his team’s rise to form.

“May mga aspects pa na kailangan namin trabahuin. Good thing, we’re playing as a team and sharing the basketball,” he added.

La Salle will need to be in its biggest form once November rolls around.

The Green Archers battle archrival Ateneo Blue Eagles on Nov. 5, before wrapping up the elims against the defending champion Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Nov. 12 in a game that could give them the outright finals berth should they hurdle both games.

Alvin Pasaol finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists but the Red Warriors dropped their third in a row to fall at 2-9.

LA SALLE 95 – Mbala 26, Teng 20, Torres 11, Melecio 9, Perkins 7, Tratter 6, Rivero R. 5, Rivero P. 5, Sargent 4, Baltazar 2, Montalbo 0, Caracut 0, Paraiso 0, Dyke 0.

UE 66 – Pasaol 17, Bartolome 9, Derige 9, Batiller 8, Abanto 6, Varilla 5, Charcos 4, Gagate 4, Mañalang 2, Olayon 2, Palma 0, De Leon 0, Armenion 0.

Quarters: 24-15; 37-27; 70-48; 95-66.