De La Salle derails Ateneo from sweeping elimination round
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers exacted revenge on the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 79-76, on Sunday, November 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kib Montalbo's jumper capped La Salle's 8-0 run to take the lead at 77-76 with 40 seconds remaining. Isaac Go missed an open shot and fouls Ricci Rivero in the last 8.9 seconds of the game. Rivero sank both his charities to close out the game up by 3 points.
Ben Mbala led the Green Archers with a massive double-double of 28 points and 19 rebounds, while making 6 steals and 6 blocks. Ricci Rivero followed by chipping in 21 points and 5 rebounds.
Three Blue Eagles stuffed the sheet with double-digits with Thirdy Ravena leading the Blue Eagles' offense with 15 points, followed by Go with 13 points. Matt Nieto had 12 points that were all from first half, as he went down in the third quarter after Montalbo fouled him.
The rivalry match delivered its promised intensity as both teams went into a defensive battle and traded leads 8 times during the first half alone.
The Blue Eagles ended the first quarter with a 10-1 run – punctuated by Go's back-to-back inside buckets – that gave Ateneo the 5-point lead heading into the third quarter.
Mbala powered the Green Archers' offense through the second quarter, but the Season 79 MVP had a bad fall in attempt to grab an offensive rebound at the 4:06 mark of the second quarter.
Matt Nieto's top-of-the-key triple and Raffy Verano's back-to-back baskets allowed Ateneo to nab the lead again, but Mbala's and-1 play and Ricci Rivero's triple got La Salle ahead by two points at the half (37-35).
Down by two points entering the second half, the Thirdy Ravena's side-step triple sparked 15-6 run in the third quarter as they locked down the Green Archers to only 17 points in the period.
The Green Archers will face off with the Adamson University Soaring Falcons on Saturday, November 18, 4PM, in the first semi-finals game of the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.
DLSU (79) – Mbala 28, Rivero R 21, Tratter 8, Santillan 7, Melecio 6, Montalbo 6, Go 3, Caracut 0, Rivero P 0, Baltazar 0, Paraiso 0.
Ateneo (76) – Ravena 15, Go 13, Nieto Ma 12, Verano 9, Mendoza 7, Asistio 6, Tolentino 6, Ikeh 4, Porter 3, Nieto Mi 1, Mamuyac 0, Black 0.
Quarter Scores: 17-22, 37-35, 54-63, 79-76.