The defending champions De La Salle University Green Archers will have a shot at reclaiming the PCCL title as they were able to notch a victory over the FEU Tamaraws- who eliminated them in the recent UAAP season- 74-61, held at the Ynares Stadium in Pasig.
Ben Mbala put on a stellar performance by tallying an impressive 20 point, 12 rebound stat line.
Jeron Teng scored six of the Archers’ 14 points in their opening burst as he also dished out assists to dictate early momentum for the Taft-based squad. The UAAP bridesmaid finishers responded with an 8-0 run to start the second period, pioneered by Al Francis Tamsi.
The Tamaraws’ perimeter shots eventually fell late in the second period, and the Green Archers’ free-throws did not find the mark as FEU installed their largest lead at eight at one point, 37-29. Just before halftime, a timely corner triple by Robert Bolick trimmed the deficit to four and gave the momentum to La Salle.
Mbala then sparked the Green Archers’ scoring output in the third canto with consecutive buckets. Thomas Torres capped the juggernaut with a triple, and successful defensive stops halted the Tamaraws’ chances of countering in the period.
Mbala’s presence underneath proved to be the Tamaraws’ downfall as the upcoming rookie provided rim protection while eating majority of the rebounds. The Archers used a strong 27-9 third quarter with their free-throws starting to find the net.
Looking to seal the deal in the payoff period, the Archers hit on timely free-throws to stop any chance of a Tamaraw comeback. Matt Salem also knocked down a triple in the fourth as La Salle clinched its fourth victory in the Elite 8 round, still unbeaten in the PCCL.
DLSU sweeps its Elite 8 round games, 4-0 and will await the second placers of the tournament. Meanwhile, FEU eliminates its chances of grabbing the PCCL crown by dropping to a 1-2 slate.
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