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La Salle gets back at UP on Aldin Ayo’s birthday



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times La Salle gets back at UP on Aldin Ayo's birthday Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 Ricci Rivero Kib Montalbo Jun Manzo DLSU Men's Basketball Bo Perasol Ben Mbala Aldin Ayo

After being handed a 98-87 loss in the first round, the Green Archers made sure that there wouldn’t be an encore, especially during coach Aldin Ayo’s 40th birthday.

With an unstoppable Ben Mbala and a revitalized Kib Montalbo leading the way, De La Salle University hammered the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 85-62, Sunday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

With the win, La Salle are now in solo second with a 7-2 slate. UP dropped to 4-5, still good for fifth in the standings.

“We needed to find a way to get back at them,” shared reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala, “We can’t lose to the same team five or six times in the same year. I feel like we were able to execute our Mayhem defense.”

Mbala powered La Salle’s strong first half, scoring 20 of his 27 points in the first 20 minutes of the game. The Cameroonian student-athlete grabbed 14 rebounds to go along with two blocks.

Moreover, Mbala — who played small forward for the majority of the game — locked in on UP ace Paul Desiderio. After notching his career-high 30 points during their first round encounter, Desiderio finished with just seven points on 2-for-13 shooting from the field.

“Well, we had a game plan, I just had to stay in front of him,” said Mbala. “I’m bigger and stronger than him. I know I can catch up with him.”

Kib Montalbo also had a huge hand in La Salle’s strong second quarter that saw them out-score UP, 27-13, and  helped the Green Archers erect a lead that went to as high as 25 points in the first half. The King Archer finished the game with 12 points.

La Salle’s lead would balloon to as high as 28 points, 60-32, after a Santi Santillian bucket with 6:06 left.

Behind Jun Manzo, UP were able to cut the lead to as low as 14 points early in the final frame, but Ricci Rivero put on the finishing touches.

Ricci Rivero had another excellent outing with 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

The Green Archers defense limited the Fighting Maroons to just 33.33 percent from the field and 9-for-32 from downtown.

Manzo was the high point man for UP with 13 points.

La Salle look to make it three in a row when they take on the Adamson University Soaring Falcons on Saturday, October 21, at 2:00pm. UP, on the other hand, take on the surging University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday, October 22, at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

DLSU 85 – Mbala 27, Rivero R 20, Montalbo 12, Go 8, Santillan 7, Rivero P 3, Baltazar 3, Melecio 3, Caracut 2, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Tero 0

UP 62 – Manzo 13, Ouattara 9, Desiderio 7, Gomez de Liano Ju 7, Gomez de Liano Ja 6, Lim 6, Vito 6, Webb 5, Jaboneta 3, Dario 0, Harris 0, Romero 0, Lao 0

Quarterscores: 24-14, 51-27, 65-45, 85-62