The defending champions, De La Salle Green Archers (12-2) stained the record of the Ateneo Blue Eagles (13-1) in their last match up in the eliminations, 79-76 today November 12 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
As expected, it was an incredible and breathtaking game given by the long-time rivals which luckily favored the Archers as they are entering to the semi-finals with a winning momentum.
In the first quarter, the Katipunan-based troop heated up the game by trying to pressure the offense and defense of the Archers that ended the period in their favor, 22-17.
During the second quarter, the Taft-based squad cope with the Blue shirts and even slowed down their offense that gave them the lead at the end of the half, 37-35.
As the third quarter commenced, Coach Tab’s boys did some halftime adjustments that made them gain the lead of 9 points at the end of the quarter, 63-54.
Despite of the outcome of today’s game, the Green Archers still gave credit to Ateneo that pushed his team to get that ball and win it.
“We are going to do whatever it takes to win, in the right way of course,” Coach Ayo stated.
Of course, coming into the game, the Green Archers knew that the Blue Eagles was going to be a tough team to beat but it did not stop them to go for greatness in this battle which is why Coach Aldin Ayo praised his boys for today’s game.
“I have to commend the players for their effort and for sticking to the game plan especially during the end game.”
Archer’s Big Man, Ben Mbala contributed a whopping 28 points and 19 rebounds while Ricci Rivero garnered 21 points and 5 rebounds for La Salle today.
On the other hand, Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go bannered Ateneo with 15 points and 8 rebounds and 13 points and 6 rebounds, respectively.
The De La Salle Green Archers will be facing the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the semifinals while Ateneo Blue Eagles will fight against the FEU Tamarraws on Saturday, November 18 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Mbala-28, Rivero-21, Tratter-8, Santillian-7, Melecio-6, Montalbo-6, Go-3, Baltazar-0, Caracut-0, Paraiso-0, Rivero-0
Ravena-15, Go-13, Matt Nieto-12, Verano-9, Mendoza-7, Asistio-6, Tolentino-6, Ikeh-4, Porter-3, Nieto-1, Black-0, Mamuyac-0