Ben Mbala powers DLSU to continue title defense
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The De La Salle Green Archers cruised through their game against the Adamson Soaring Falcons as they won, 85-73, on Wednesday, September 20, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
This game saw the return of Season 79 Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala to the Green Archers' arsenal after his stint with the Cameroon team in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament that was held last September 8 to 16, 2017.
MATCH PREVIEW: Return of Season 79 MVP Ben Mbala from 2017 FIBA Afrobasket
Mbala immediately racked up a UAAP career high of 32 points and 10 rebounds in his Season 80 debut.
The Green Archers dominated early in the game, where they established a 23-7 lead over the Soaring Falcons in the first quarter, which immediately ballooned to a lead triple the score of Adamson at the end of the first frame.
The Soaring Falcons sparked mini runs via a balanced team effort in attempts to cut the defending champions' lead. However, Mbala made his presence felt by drilling in 21 points with a 50% shooting percentage from the 3-point line at the end of the half.
Late in the third quarter, Jerie Pingoy's clutch inside shot ignited the 7-2 scoring run of the Soaring Falcons as the minutes died out. This enabled Adamson to get within a single digits with the Green Archers en route to the final frame.
However, Adamson's late comeback fell short as DLSU continued to hold the lead and Mbala highlighted the fourth quarter with a dunk and an and-1 play over Kristian Bernardo.
Following leading scorer Mbala for the Green Archers was rookie Santi Santillan who scored 10 points and made 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
Robbie Manalang topscored for the Soaring Falcons with 16 points and grabbed 2 offensive rebounds. Papi Sarr showed improvement from his groin injury as he scored a double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds, 5 of which are offensive.
The Green Archers go undefeated with a 3-0 record, while the Adamson Soaring Falcons fall to a 1-2 record in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.
DLSU (85) – Mbala 32, Santillan 10, Tratter 9, Rivero P 8, Rivero R 6, Motalbo 5, Caracut 5, Go 3, Baltazar 3, Melecio 2, Gonzales 2.
Adamson (73) – Manalang 16, Sarr 12, Ahanmisi 10, Pingoy 9, Manganti 8, Bernardo 8, Hill 6, Ochea 3, Lojera 1, Espeleta 0, Camacho 0, Mustre 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarter scores (DLSU-AdU): 36-12, 55-33, 70-61, 85-73