MAYHEM! La Salle dominates Ateneo, 97-81 to sweep the 1st round
COMPLETE AND TOTAL DOMINATION!
After a close first quarter, La Salle took control of the second quarter and never looked back, as the De La Salle Green Archers dominated the Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles, 97-81 in front of a mammoth 16,000 strong-crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.
The game started close, as the first quarter ended at 20 all. The Eagles even took a 26-20 lead during the early parts of the second quarter. But then, Mayhem took over! La Salle unleashed a 21-3 run and with that, the game was pretty much over by halftime. And it was more of the same during the second half, as La Salle led by as much as 27 points. DLSU was never really threatened during the second half.
Big Ben Mbala played perhaps his best game of the season so far, as he finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals. He had a couple of highlight-worthy dunks, including an alley-oop play from Thomas Torres; that led the green side of MOA to go absolutely insane! With the absence of top local Jeron Teng due to an injury, the other players stepped up. Andrei Caracut once again had a good game, as he finished with 14 points. Abu Tratter added 10 points while Thomas Torres, Ricci Rivero and Kib Montalbo also chipped in 8 points a-piece.
The Archers had 16 steals compared to only 4 steals of Ateneo. La Salle had 21 fast break points compared to only 2 of the Blue Eagles. La Salle pretty much dominated just about every statistical category for this game. No Ayo, No Jeron, No Problem!
La Salle swept the first round of the elimination round for the first time since 2002. But it should be noted that La Salle went 13-0 that season, before losing the final game of elimination round game against Ateneo. Ateneo eventually won the finals in 3 games against La Salle. So the lesson here is nothing is cast in stone. The Golden State Warriors had the greatest regular season record in NBA history with 73-9, but lost in the finals. Nothing is for sure. Yes, we are the heavy favorites, but it doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels. The level of Mayhem should be intensified in the second round all the way to the finals! ANIMO LA SALLE!