SAN JUAN City – De La Salle University completed a 10-game clean sweep of the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup by washing away Arellano University, 86-74, Sunday afternoon (June 12) at the San Juan Arena. This marks the Green Archers’ second title in the last three years and fourth overall in tournament history.
Benoit Mbala showed the stuff that earned for him Freego Most Valuble Player honors as he scattered 28 points, grabbed 26 rebounds and blocked eight shots in 36 minutes as he kept DLSU in the contest. Fittingly, his fellow members of the Gatorade Mythical Team Jeron Teng and Abu Tratter supported him with 13 markers each with Tratter hauling 11 rebounds.
“I am never conscious about statistics, I just listen and obey to what my coach tells me to do,” said Mbala, who also carted away Gatorade Defensive Player honors. Coach Aldin Ayo praised his ward, describing him as one who really wants to win and work hard.
DLSU nursed a shaky 61-58 advantage after three periods then proceeded to apply a trapping defense that kept the Chiefs scoreless and allowed them to score the first nine points of the fourth to peg the count at 70-58 with still 8:17 remaining. Despite stopping the bleeding with a Jiovani Jalalon triple, the Chiefs never recovered from that onslaught.
Atoning for a forgettable first half, Teng delivered the crucial points that further compounded the Chiefs’ woes and gave the Green Archers’ their biggest lead with 2:48 on the clock, 82-66. Teng was not yet finished as he scored his side’s last six points to put a cap on their masterful performance.
Jalalon gave the Green Archers a ton of problems after exploding for six triples in the opening period as the Chiefs raced to 26-21 lead. Arellano hung tough to stay ahead at halftime, 42-40.
“It was a hard fought game and a test of character for the team,” said Coach Ayo, who bagged his first trophy for DLSU. “We stuck and believed in our system and it was the players’ willingness to win that carried us.”
Jalalon had a game-high 32 points on top of six rebounds, five assists and three steals while Kent Salado followed with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Both Arellano guards completed the Mythical Five with the DLSU trio.
While waiting for the coming UAAP wars, the Green Archers aim to remain sharp by playing tune-up games, including several against professional clubs. Coach Ayo vowed to work on their weaknesses, citing their many lapses on defense that needs the most work.
Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University ended its tournament on a winning note by defeating National University in the playoff for Third Place, 66-54.
How They Scored:
For Third Place
ATENEO DE MANILA (66) – Ikeh 18, Tolentino 15, Ravena 14, Ma Nieto 4, Babilonia 4, A. Wong 3, Asistio 3, Black 3, Mendoza 2, Allmond 0, Porter 0, Banzon 0.
NATIONAL (54) – Mosqueda 9, Aroga 8, Diputado 6, Salem 6, Gallego 6, Morido 5, Aquino 3, Salim 3, Abatayo 2, Go 2, Yu 0, Cauilan 0.
Period Scores: 8-20, 36-26, 52-38, 66-54.
DE LA SALLE (86) – Mbala 28, Tratter 13, Teng 13, Torres 9, Caracut 7, Melecio 5, Montalbo 5, Go 4, Gob 2, Langston 0, Dyke 0.
ARELLANO (74) – Jalalon 32, Salado 16, Flores 6, Gumaru 5, Enriquez 4, Canete 3, Meca 2, Nicholls 2, Cadavis 2, Aguilar 2, Villoria 0, Ongolo-Ongolo 0, Holts 0, Gupilan 0.
Period Scores: 21-26, 40-42, 61-58, 86-74.