DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

MAYHEM! La Salle dominates Ateneo, 97-81 to sweep the 1st round!

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!

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

My DLSU-UST post-game article for Sports Gateway PH

Mayhem! La Salle dominates UST, 100-62 to go up to 3-0.

La Salle just showed the entire league what Mayhem Basketball is all about, as the De La Salle Green Archers just flat out dominated the UST Growling Tigers, 100-62. It was a close game for most of the first half, until La Salle used a late 2nd quarter run to grab a 44-35 lead to end the first half. But it was all over during the third quarter, as the Archers outscored the Tigers, 29-14 during the third period. La Salle showed no mercy during the fourth quarter, as they showed the killer instinct that is expected from the heavy favorites of this UAAP tournament.

Ben Mbala once again led the way for the Archers, as he scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Other double-digit scorers for the Archers are Jeron Teng with 13, Thomas Torres with 11 and Abu Tratter with 10. The rookies also had their time to shine during this game. Ricci Rivero threw down a phenomenal reverse dunk during garbage time, much to the delight of the Green and White crowd. While Justine Baltazar played quality minutes, as he had 5 blocks in just 12 minutes. Renzo Subido once again top scored for the Tigers, as he scored 18 points. Jamil Sheriff chipped in 11 points, but the rest of the Tigers struggled during this game. The Mayhem defense of the Archers also forced UST to 40 turnovers. La Salle goes up to 3-0 while UST falls to 1-2.

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Preview: DLSU vs UST

Preview: De La Salle Green Archers vs UST Growling Tigers

La Salle tries to go up to 3-0 as the DLSU Green Archers takes on the dangerous UST Growling Tigers. DLSU has been impressive so far, winning a close game against an always-competitive FEU Tamaraws during its opening game; then La Salle dominated UP over the weekend. After losing to Ateneo during the opening weekend, UST bounced back with a close win against the UE Red Warriors. It was the breakout game for former DLSZ Junior Archer Renzo Subido.

UST swept the season series against La Salle last year. The Archers just had no answer for the eventual runner-ups last season. But this year is a different story. No more Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag and (finally!!!!) Karim Abdul for the black and gold. Hopefully, La Salle can turn the tables against UST for this season.

We have two superstars for this season, and they have been playing like superstars so far. Jeron had 28 big points during the opener, including a couple of clutch baskets to seal the deal for the Green and White. Mbala had 23 huge rebounds and 4 blocks during debut, but he “only” had 13 points. So during the game against UP, it was Mbala’s turn to show his offensive prowess. Mbala scored 30 points against UP, and he grabbed 14 rebounds and had 2 blocks as well. Jeron “only” had 12 points against UP. So expect Mbala and Jeron to combine for around 40 points per game for this season. They might take turns in having a huge scoring game, but it would be great to see them both having a huge scoring game on the same game. With no more Abdul manning the paint for Team Espana, Mbala just might have field day once again. Expect the Archers to feed the kid from Cameroon down low, and we might get a couple of “YouTube worthy” plays as well.

Despite the early season success so far, the La Salle fans are not yet satisfied. Many expected a blowout against FEU and even though La Salle won over UP by 18 points, Mbala had to play during the latter part of the 4th to seal the win, as UP trimmed the lead to low-double digits during the middle to latter part of the fourth quarter. La Salle needs a big win against UST to give the fans some assurance that this team has the killer instinct that is needed to win the championship. Every team will try their very best against La Salle, and the Archers needs to play their best in every single game, in every single possession, to show the league that it means business.

La Salle and UST had countless classics over the years. The older fans can never forget the bridesmaid years during the early to mid 90’s, when UST dominated the league, beating La Salle in several championship battles. There was the unforgettable Dino Aldeguer 3 back in 1999 during the 2nd of the eventual 4-peat of the Archers. Joseph Yeo had his breakout game against UST during 2002 in Rizal, hitting a huge 3 to force overtime and eventually retain the then perfect record. There was the Maui Villanueva tip-in back in 2008. And of course, there was the battle of the Teng brothers from 2012-2013. There was electricity in the air during their first ever UAAP meeting back in 2012, which Jeric won, and during the second round, Jeron hit a game winning shot. And of course, there was the classic 3-game finals series back in 2013, when Jeron led us to the championship. Will we see another #DLSUST classic this Wednesday? The thing is, Lasallians wants a blowout this time around! Let’s show them what Mayhem basketball is all about! Animo La Salle!

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Pre-game: DLSU vs UP

Pre-Game: De La Salle Green Archers vs UP Fighting Maroons

La Salle will try to go up to 2-0 as the De La Salle Green Archers takes on the UP Fighting Maroons this Saturday, 4p,m at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. DLSU defeated FEU, 83-78 during their first game last Wednesday while UP lost to Adamson in a blowout during the opening weekend.

The teams split their season series from last year. UP defeated La Salle in the first round, in what was considered an upset during that time. In the second round, DLSU defeated UP in a close game to keep their Final Four dreams alive, but we all know how that one turned out. The La Salle faithful are hoping that there would be no more upset for this season against UP.

La Salle should show the killer instinct that is needed from a championship team for this game. If La Salle can blow the game wide open by the third period, Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala might get some rest in the fourth quarter, and it would allow the other players to get some playing time and build their confidence. Maybe rookies such as Mark Dyke and Brent Paraiso can finally play this season. Maybe Justine Baltazar can get more playing time and show his stuff. It is a learning process and this game is an opportunity for the younger guys to show their worth.

Of course, there is no such thing as a sure win. Upsets can happen. DLSU was over-confident during the opening game against FEU, almost blowing a 16-point lead and allowing FEU to make runs. DLSU should play hard from the beginning of this game and not allow the Maroons to gain confidence. The Mayhem basketball should be unleashed in this game!

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Post-game: DLSU beats FEU 83-78

Post-Game: De La Salle Green Archers defeated The FEU Tamaraws, 83-78

King Archer Jeron Teng exploded for 28 points, while in his highly-anticipated UAAP debut, Big Ben Mbala had a monster game of 13 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocks, as the DLSU Green Archers defeated the FEU Tamaraws 83-78 in the first game of the season for both teams. It’s the first DLSU 1st round victory over FEU since 2008.

The 1st quarter was close, as the defending champions were eager to show that they will not back down from the heavy favorites. The first quarter ended, 28-25 in favor for the Archers. Rookie Aljun Melecio then waxed hot during the second period, scoring 8 of his 10 points during this period, including two triples. The first half ended, 51-43 in favor of the Green and White.

La Salle then built a huge 16-point lead during the third quarter, as the La Salle crowd sensed a blowout. But it was not meant to be, as FEU fought back. The third quarter ended, 66-63 to set up a thrilling final period. During the 4th, FEU finally tied the game at 74 all, but La Salle quickly countered back. Teng made several clutch baskets, including a couple of free throws down the stretch, to seal the win for the Archers.

A win is a win, but a lot of Lasallians are not satisfied with the win, because a lot of the La Salle fans expected a blow out. It was evident in the game that La Salle got over confident in certain portions of the game, and went lax on defense in some occasions as well. This won’t work against a team like Adamson. Also, it seems like the Archers were too eager to have a “Showtime” moment with Mbala. Thomas Torres had 6 turnovers, some of them as a result of Thomas trying to have a “Sports Center” moment with Mbala. Of course, we want to see exciting plays from the Archers, we want to see Mbala throwing it down, but those things will happen naturally in the course of the season.

Next game for La Salle is against UP, this Saturday, 4pm, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Pre-Game: DLSU Green Archers vs FEU Tamaraws

Pre-Game: De La Salle Green Archers vs FEU Tamaraws
Grudge match!

The heavily favored De La Salle Green Archers takes on the defending champions FEU Tamaraws this Wednesday, 4pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. Several weeks ago, the two teams figured out in a heated tune-up game, a game so heated that they decided not to finish the match. La Salle had a huge lead before the game was stopped, but who is counting anyways, right? Both coaches also played some “mind games” during a recent UAAP Press Conference, as both expressed their eagerness to finally “finish the game”.

FEU swept DLSU during their season series last year. The Mighty Tams used a back-breaking late 3rd quarter run during the first round to dominate DLSU during their opening round encounter. And during the second round, which ended up as the last game of the season for the Archers, FEU, using mostly their bench players during the fourth period, defeated DLSU in a do-or-die game for the Archers. During the 2016 FIL-OIL Pre-Season Cup, La Salle eliminated FEU, 91-71 during the quarterfinals.

FEU lost a lot of key players from last year’s championship run, veteran players such as Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, RR Pogoy and Russel Escoto. But never count out FEU, as year in and year out, they field a competitive team, consistently finding players, players that might not be necessarily considered as “blue-chippers”, but they end up as quality players. Some of their more reliable role players from last year are looking to finally shine in the UAAP, players such as Raymar Jose and Monbert Arong. Expect the Tams to be Final Four contenders for this season.

Ben Mbala was said to be the target of the physical FEU defense during that infamous tune-up match. Expect the Tams to be very physical towards the Archers, especially to our stars, Big Ben and King Archer Jeron Teng. La Salle should not lose their cool and just stick to the game plan. This is Mbala’s long awaited UAAP debut and all eyes are on him. He should just let the game flow into him. The Archers are the favorites, which may bring extra pressure to perform in the big stage, so La Salle should just take it one possession at a time, one game at a time. Mbala and Teng showed that they can play well with each other during the FIL-OIL championship run and hopefully, they can bring that chemistry to the UAAP.

La Salle is fielding a full 16-man lineup for the first time since 2012. And with the mayhem defense, it would be interesting to see the rotation of Coach Aldin Ayo for the opening game. He might end up using a lot of players for this game, as we are a deep team, so there is a possibility that he uses around 12-13 players for this game, so everyone should be ready, as some of the rookies will have a baptism of fire in our opening game.

Expect this to be a good test for the Archers. FEU will not back down from a challenge, even against the heavy favorites. As long as the Archers stick to the game plan, and show the UAAP that the Mayhem defense is for real, we should be able to start the season on the right foot. ANIMO LA SALLE!

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