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Basketball

La Salle overwhelms Mapua in highly physical contest


The De La Salle University Green Archers were tested in a highly-physical before blowing out the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 93-76, Thursday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

It was a highly physical contest that saw 60 fouls assessed by the officials and 73 free throw attempts by both teams. Moreover, there were four ejections in the game as Allwell Oraeme and Kib Montalbo were disqualified early in the final frame and JR Raflores and Renell Magboo fouling out.

“We lacked effort in the first half kaya. We rely on our effort in our system kasi,” first year La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo said about the game. “If we don’t exert effort, we are going to be in trouble.”

The Cardinals were up 39-32 in the first half of the game with the returning Andrew Estrella leading the way for Mapua with ten markers. Moreover, Oraeme was able to limit Ben Mbala in the first half as he went just 2 for 8 from the field while Oraeme had eight points, seven boards, and three blocks in the opening half.

40 seconds into the third frame, Oraeme sprained his right ankle trying to defend Mbala that forced him to be subbed out of the game. With the NCAA MVP out of the game, the Archers were able to eventually gain a 50-49 lead with 4:58 remaining in the quarter after a go-ahead basket by Thomas Torres and a basket by Mbala. Mapua was able to end the quarter strong in going on a 7-0 rally courtesy of Estrella and Almel Orquina.

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“Nung nag-cramps si Oraeme, we went to our strength. They don’t have a big man so we went to our strength, Ben, Abu, and Prince. Nagkaroon kami ng tatlong bigs sa rotation dahil wala silang big man,” Ayo said.

“Ganun naman yung basketball e, kung saan mahina ang kalaban kelangan i-exploit. Kung saan ang kalakasan, dun iwasan.”

Oraeme returned to the game at the 1:15 mark of the third frame but eventually had to leave the game at the 7:45 mark of the fourth quarter. After a foul by Abu Tratter on Oraeme, Oraeme had a scuffle against 5’10 guard Kib Montalbo that saw both men shoving each other. Both were assessed a disqualifying foul and were slapped with a one-game suspension.

With Oraeme out once again, the Green Archers were able to limit their opponents to just four field goals in the last 7:22 of the game. Moreover, Mbala feasted his way inside in scoring seven of his 29 points in the quarter. Jeron Teng provided the finishing touches with a pullup jumper with 2:24 remaining to give La Salle the biggest lead of the game 90-70.

In addition to his 29 points, Mbala grabbed 22 boards in another monstrous outing. Abu Tratter added 17 points and eight boards while Teng scored 16 points.

For Mapua, Estrella went 7 for 14 from the field for 17 points. Almel Orquina knocked down four triples in scoring 13 points while JR Raflores added 12 points.

Aldin Ayo will face a familiar foe on Saturday, May 21 as the Green Archers (B, 3-0) face the San Beda Red Lions at 5:00pm. Mapua (B, 1-2), on the other hand, look to bounce back on the same day as they face the Adamson Soaring Falcons (B, 2-2) at 1:30pm.

The Scores:

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DLSU (93) – Mbala 29, Tratter 17, Teng 16, Montalbo 9, Torres 6, Melecio 5, Caracut 3, P. Rivero 3, Langston 3, Go 2, Gob 0, R. Rivero 0.

MIT (76) – Estrella 17, Orquina 13, Raflores 12, Oraeme 8, Biteng 7, Isit 6, Victoria 4, Magboo 2, Serrano 2, Bunag 2, Dela Cruz 2, Gamboa 1, Aguirre 0, Dela Rosa 0.

Quarterscores: 16-14, 32-39, 60-61, 93-76.

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