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La Salle edges San Beda in powerhouse duel to remain unbeaten

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The DLSU Green Archers continued their PCCL brilliance with another victory- this time against the San Beda Lions squad, 61-56 to remain unscathed with its third victory in as many games in the continuing Elite 8 tournament.

Both team’s starters made noise early as both squads exchanged leads in the first period; there was six lead changes. San Beda’s Ola Adeogun anchored the Red Lion’s defense early making it hard for the Archers’ big men to establish their presence. The five-time NCAA champions finished the first frame on a 10-4 run while sinking six of their first seven free throws to lead.

The defending PCCL champions responded to a tough second period as they played better defense to stop San Beda’s offensive sets. Jeron Teng hit two buckets inside the lane to tie things up heading into halftime.

The Green Archers started the second half on a mission, as they kept San Beda scoreless for the first four minutes of the third canto. The defensive pressure of the Archers set the tone for the team and was capped by an impressive chasedown block by Teng on Baser Amer. Amer’s two free throws at the 6:10 mark ended a 7-0 quick spurt by La Salle.

San Beda settled for multiple perimeter jumpers in the third canto that did not hit the mark. Thomas Torres found an open Kib Montalbo, who drained a long corner two pointer to give La Salle their largest lead at 13, 47-34. The Green Archers held the Red Lions to five third quarter points and entered the final period with a comfortable cushion, up by double digits.

The Red Lions countered with pressure defense in the final period that forced the Green Archers to successive turnovers. San Beda rushed to a 12-3 fourth period start to make it a close encounter. La Salle then responded with baskets to keep the NCAA squad at bay. Highly-anticipated rookie Ben Mbala made critical buckets and defensive stops while Teng provided the game-sealing free throw.

“We have to learn how to take care of the ball. We have to play smart, we had nine turnovers alone in the fourth period” said Coach Juno Sauler, who was quite disappointed with the squad’s fourth period performance.

Teng paced the Archers with 20 points while adding nine boards and three dimes. Torres and Mbala combined for 18 markers. Amer and Adeogun led San Beda with 14 and 11 points respectively.

The Green Archers improved to an umblemished 3-0 record while San Beda dropped to 1-1.

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