Ben Mbala tallied a double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds as the De La Salle Green Archers remained undefeated after beating the San Beda Red Lions, 94-85 in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Hanes Preseason Premier Cup Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
La Salle overcame a double-digit deficit in the third quarter before flipping the switch in the fourth period as it outscored San Beda, 34-23. La Salle improved to 4-0 Group B while San Beda, which played three games in the last four days, fell to 2-1.
Mbala shot 11-for-14 from the field, and added four blocked shots. Jeron Teng added 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
“It’s a good win for us. We are a rebuilding team. It’s a good win. Good stepping stone,” Teng said.
Jollo Go contributed 19 points including 5-for-8 from downtown, while Andrei Caracut had 13 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
“San Beda is always a good team and we wanted to make this our statement game,” Teng added.
San Beda erased a 28-21 La Salle lead in the second frame after forcing its opponent to play sloppy. The Red Lions closed the first half on a 17-5 run to enter the break ahead, 43-33.
A Dan Sara triple followed by baskets from Pierre Tankoua and Jayvee Mocon gave the Red Lions their biggest lead at 47-36, before the Green Archers came back using their outside shooting and Mbala’s presence underneath.
AC Soberano and Go first engaged in a shootout, hitting three treys apiece bridging the third and fourth quarters as La Salle took a 63-62 edge.
Mbala then added back to back baskets, capping a 9-0 La Salle run to open the fourth. A slam by Mbala later on pushed the lead to 88-77, as the Green Archers pulled away for good.
“It’s a good sign, but we have lots to improve on. Madami pa kaming games before UAAP,” Teng said.
Davon Potts and Soberano paced San Beda, scoring 18 points apiece. Potts tallied seven rebounds and four assists, while Tankoua added 15 points and 13 boards.
La Salle (94) – Mbala 26, Teng 23, Go 19, Caracut 13, Tratter 5, Torres 4, Rivero 4, Langston 0, Melecio 0.
San Beda (85) – Potts 18, Soberano 18, Tankoua 15, Sara 9, Bolick 8, Noah 7, Mocon 6, Tongco 2, Presbitero 2, Navarro 0.
Quarterscores: 21-21, 33-40, 60-62, 94-85.