In a battle of two full court pressing systems, it was Aldin Ayo and the De La Salle University Green Archers who went out as victors in a 98-88 win over the Franz Pumaren-mentored Adamson University Soaring Falcons to open the 2016 Filoil Premier Cup Saturday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The Green Archers immediately went to Ayo’s patented pressing defense right from the tip-off that led to an early 12-0 lead. Cameroonian Ben Mbala, senior Jeron Teng, and sophomore Andrei Caracut all contributed in the run that was only broken by a lay-in by Sean Manganti at the 6:26 mark of the quarter. GBoy Gob then made his presence known in scoring six straight points while Mbala continued to feast his way in the paint for a 25-11 lead with 2:36 left in the quarter. Former Green Archer Terrence Mustre scored four straight markers to close-out the opening salvo to cut the lead to just 11, 28-17.
The Soaring Falcons employed the legendary Pumaren press in the second quarter that sparked a 19-4 rally to gain the lead with 4:51 left in the half. The backcourt combination of Harold Ng and Robbie Manalang combined for 11 points and two dimes in the rally to gain a 36-32 lead with 4:51 remaining. After a timeout, Abu Tratter scored four straight baskets to tie the game at 36-all. The game then turned into a foul game to close out the half with the Green Archers holding on to a 48-45 lead.
“Nasaktan kami dun sa second group namin pero kelangan maglaro ng mga yun especially si Ricci (Rivero),” La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo remarked. “Alam naman natin kung ano puwedeng gawin ni Ricci pero masama yung laro nung bata. Sisiguraduhin namin na makapag-adjust siya.”
Both teams continued to trade baskets and leads up until the 3:37 mark of the third canto. With La Salle clinging to a solitary point lead, 63-62, Jeron Teng sparked a 6-1 rally to end the quarter strong and extend La Salle’s lead to six, 69-63.
Manganti was able to cut the deficit to just two early in the fourth frame but God was able to score six points in a 10-4 run. Ayo then brought in a three-guard lineup that featured Mbala and Teng in the front court while Aljon Melecio, Thomas Torres, and Kib Montalbo alternated at the one spot that wrecked havoc on the court. That line-up was able to extend La Salle’s lead to 14, 87-73, capped by a three point play by Melacio and a triple by Montalbo. Mustre and Jerrick Ahanmisi tried to rally back the San Marcelino-based squad but Teng and Mbala was able to answer back to give the Green Archers a 98-88 win.
King Archer Jeron Teng led all scorers with 30 points on 9/16 shooting from the field and 11/14 shooting from the foul stripe. He added nine boards and three dimes. JBoy Gob added 20 points and seven boards while Mbala impressed with 13 points and 10 boards.
Coach Aldin Ayo though is looking integrate his team better to his system as their Filoil campaign goes on. “Consistency. Sabi ko nga interms of ii-scale natin yung pag-absorb nila sa sistema. Nasa 60 to 70% pa lang,” he said. “You may ask bakit ang tagal? Pero if you notice sa mga players na yan, walang may background diyan na nagtratrap. So everything is new for them.”
“In principle alam na nila pero yung implementation at yung katawan, hindi pa instinctive.”
The Falcons were led by Fil-Am Sean Manganti with 13 points, five boards, and two steals. Robbie Manalang and Terrence Mustre both scored 11 points.
The Green and White shot at an excellent 56% clip from the field compared to just 46% for Adamson. Even in shooting at a dismal 23/40 from the charity stripe, La Salle was able to move the ball well in assisting on 19 of their shots.
The Green Archers (B, 1-0) will next face the UE Red Warriors on Friday, May 6 at 2:00pm. The Adamson Soaring Falcons (B, 0-1), on the other hand, will face the Ateneo Blue Eagles on the same day at 4:00pm.
DLSU (98) – Teng 30, Gob 20, Mbala 13, Montalbo 9, Caracut 7, Torres 6, Tratter 6, Go 4, Melecio 3, Rivero R. 0.
AdU (88) – Manganti 13, Manalang 11, Mustre 11, Ng 10, Ochea 10, Sarr 6, Pasturan 6, Escalambre 6, Ahanmisi 5, Bernardo 4, Cadua 4, Espeleta 2, Garcia 0.
Quarterscores: 28-17, 48-45, 69-63, 98-88.