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Tiebreaker Times


La Salle depth too much for Arellano, cops 2016 Premier Cup

The De La Salle University Green Archers were able to win their fourth Premier Cup crown in an 86-74 win over the Arellano University Chiefs Sunday evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Ben Mbala, who now holds the record in scoring in the Premier Cup with 226 points, almost notched a triple-double with 28 points, 26 rebounds, and a Premier Cup record-breaking eight blocks for the Green Archers. Abu Tratter also notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards while Jeron Teng added 13 markers.

“Well, I’m not really aware of things I’m doing right now,” Ben Mbala said. I’m not just looking for points or blocks. I’m just doing what coach wants me to do.”

Jio Jalalon exploded for 23 points, six triples in the opening frame, to help give the Chiefs a two-point lead entering halftime, 42-40. The Arellano lead grew to as high as 32-21 with 8:12 remaining in the half after a Julius Cadavis layup. However, Mbala, on the other hand, had already tallied a double-double by the half with 18 markers and 13 boards to help regain the bearings of the Taft Avenue cagers.

“We just stuck with the system. We were down first half pero laban lang ng laban,” first-year La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo said. “Kita mo yung willingness to win ng mga leaders namin like Ben, Jeron, Tommy, Kib, and Abu.”

Both teams exchanged leads in the third canto in a nip-and-tuck affair. Free throws by Kib Montalbo and a basket by Abu Tratter off a Jeron Teng miss gave La Salle a 61-58 lead to end the third frame.

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The hot-shooting though of the Chiefs suddenly went cold in the final frame. Moreover, Ayo’s chaotic defensive forced the Chiefs into turnovers that helped paved the way for a game-breaking 15-3 rally, the sole Arellano field goal coming from a triple by Jalalon with 5:47 remaining. Teng scored eight points in the quarter including a dagger jumper with 1:41 remaining for an 84-72 lead.

“It was a hard fought game it was a test of character for us,” Ayo added. “Madami kami natutunan sa game na ito.”

Jio Jalalon willed the Chiefs with 32 points, including seven triples, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. However, the High Chief committed five turnovers, a majority coming in the final frame. Kent Salado added 16 points.

After shooting 42 percent from the field in the first half, the Chiefs’ shooting clip dipped to 37 percent as the dust settled. Moreover, the rebounding margin was too wide as DLSU held a 62-38 rebounding advantage, 37 coming from Tratter and Mbala alone.

This is La Salle’s fourth Premier Cup in ten years. Moreover, the Green Archers are the first team to sweep the entire tournament since 2012.

The Scores:

DLSU (86) – Mbala 28, Tratter 13, Teng 13, Torres 9, Caracut 7, Montalbo 5, Melecio 5, Go 4, Gob 2, Dyke 0, Langston 0.

AU (74) – Jalalon 32, Salado 16, Flores 6, Gumaru 5, Enriquez 4, Canete 3, Nicholls 2, Cadavis 2, Meca 2, Aguilar 2, Holts 0, Villoria 0, Ongulo-ongulo 0, Gupilan 0.

Quarterscores: 21-26, 40-42, 61-58, 86-74.

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