SAN JUAN City – De La Salle University opened the Aldin Ayo Era on a high note by trouncing Adamson University, 98-88, in the inaugural game of the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup at the San Juan Arena Saturday (April 30). The new head coach immediately made his mark on a Green Archers squad in search of redemption.
Rushing to a 12-0 lead after the opening tip, the Green Archers looked to settle the outcome early but the Soaring Falcons proved to be a tough customer, settling down and grabbing the upper hand for the first time briefly in the second period, 34-33. Halftime ended in DLSU’s favor, 48-45.
By the fourth period, former Green Archer Terrence Mustre scored to make it 73-77 and that was the cue for DLSU to go on a 10-0 run capped by a three-point player by rookie Aljun Melecio and a triple by Kib Montalbo to erect their biggest lead of the game with 4:20 to play, 87-73.
DLSU was hardly threatened despite back-to-back treys from James Pasturan and Mustre, 79-87. That was the best the Falcons could do as veterans Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres delivered the insurance baskets to preserve the win.
Teng led all scorers with 30 points on top of nine rebounds and three assists. A surprise package was sophomore J-Boy Gob, a seldom-used center last season who churned out 20 points and seven rebounds in a starting role, easily out-shadowing Cameroonian teammate Ben Mbala who had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
“We have been working out individually with J-Boy and he has good hands and skill set,” said Coach Ayo. “He just needs to work on his decision making and he will be fine.”
The chaotic trapping defense Coach Ayo espoused at his old team Colegio de San Juan de Letran was evident throughout the contest. Still, the youthful mentor from Sorsogon wants to see his players improve their physical conditioning in order for their bodies to fully adapt to the new system.
Sean Manganti topped the Soaring Falcons with 13 points. Mustre and Robbie Manalang followed with 11 markers apiece as DLSU spoiled the debut of Coach Franz Pumaren, their former coach and the man responsible for DLSU’s UAAP dominance a decade ago.
Next up for the Green Archers is the University of the East on May 6, another team handled by a former coach of theirs Frederick Pumaren. Adamson will try to break into the win column against Ateneo de Manila University on the same day.
How They Scored:
DE LA SALLE (98) – Teng 30, Gob 20, Mbala 13, Montalbo 9, Caracut 7, Tratter 6, Torres 6, Go 4, Melecio 3, R. Rivero 0.
ADAMSON (88) – Manganti 13, Mustre 11, Manalang 11, Ochea 10, Ng 10, Pasturan 6, Escalambre 6, Sarr 6, Ahanmisi 5, Bernardo 4, Cadua 4, Espeleta 2, Garcia 0.
Period Scores: 28-17, 48-45, 69-63, 98-88.