SAN JUAN City – De La Salle University maintained its unbeaten record at the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup by smothering Mapua Institute of Technology, 93-76, Thursday evening (May 19) at the San Juan Arena. The Green Archers upped their record to 3-0 while the Cardinals fell to 1-2 in Group B.
The Cardinals were well in control of the game with Exeqiel Biteng, Allwell Oraeme and Andrew Estrella contributing heavily as they took the first half, 39-32. Things took a turn for the worst as Oraeme was forced to sit out stretches of the third due to cramps, thus allowing the Green Archers to fight back only to allow Mapua to get back the lead on buzzer-beater by Estrella, 61-60.
Oraeme returned to active duty but it was a short-lived stint as he was thrown out of the game together with DLSU’s Kib Montalbo for fighting with 7:30 to go in the fourth and DLSU ahead, 65-61. Without Oraeme, the Green Archers had a field day pounding the inside as Ben Mbala and Abu Tratter frolicked against the paint to signal their breakaway.
Mapua proceeded to turn over the ball leading to easy transition baskets for DLSU. A basket by Jeron Teng gave the Green Archers their biggest lead, 90-70.
“We lacked effort in the first half,” admitted Coach Aldin Ayo. “When Oraeme left the game, the instruction was to go to our strengths with the big men.”
While the 3-0 card looks good, Coach Ayo believes that their next assignment against defending champion San Beda College on May 21 (Saturday) will be a test of how much they have grown as a team. “They run and gun very well and Coach Jamike (Jarin) still runs the same system but he has better materials now,” said Coach Ayo.
Mbala finished with incredible numbers of 29 points and 22 rebounds. Tratter was next with 17 points and eight rebounds while Teng had16 points and four assists.
Estrella paced the Cardinals with 17. Rookie Almel Orquina backed him up with 13 points followed by JR Raflores with12 points and five rebounds.
How They Scored:
DE LA SALLE (93) – Mbala 29, Tratter 17, Teng 16, Montalbo 9, Torres 6, Melecio 5, Langston 3, P. Rivero 3, Caracut 3, Go 0, R. Rivero 0, Gob 0.
MAPUA TECH (76) – Estrella 17, Orquina 13, Raflores 12, Oraeme 8, Biteng 7, isit 6, Victoria 4, Serrano 2, Bunag 2, Magboo 2, de la Cruz 2, Gamboa 1, Aguirre 0, de la Rosa 0.
Period Scores: 16-14, 32-39, 60-61, 93-74.