Ben Mbala bounced back from an average performance against his former team SWU to dominate this time around against University of Visayas to pace the Archers in another victory.
The incoming UAAP rookie posted 19 points, grabbed nine boards and added two blocks. The Cameroonian gave his contribution for only three quarters as the second unit guys closed the deal in the fourth quarter.
Mbala’s presence underneath was effective enough as the Lancers settled for perimeter baskets and lower percentage shots. The highly-anticipated La Salle big man established the defensive tempo and played as the game’s top glass eater as well.
An unsportsmanlike foul in the opening moments of the fourth quarter from UV triggered the La Salle rally as the UAAP squad drained critical freethrows to build their cushion. Robert Bolick and Darly Pascual knocked down two triples to help the Archers pull away.
UV’s Cobilla and John Abad gave 16 and 15 points respectively for the Lancers who played their first game of the Elite 8 round.
The Elite 8 round of the PCCL Tournament will continue on Friday as the Archers battle out against NCCA champions San Beda Red Lions in Ynares Stadium, Pasig.