The deal was signed, sealed, and delivered by the Green Archers as they locked in their twice-to-beat advantage, and extended their win streak to six, after another convincing win against the NU Bulldogs, 101-76 yesterday.
It was another rough start by the Green Archers as the Bulldogs drew first blood on the scoreboard; leading the Archers by 4, 0-4. DLSU could not get their offensive plays going until the 7:30 mark in the first quarter with a 3-point shot by Ricci Rivero.
Early in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were making it rain with 3s as it helped them extend their lead to 5, 10-5. Ricci Rivero’s 3-pt shot followed by Andrei Caracut’s steal and lay-up tied the game at 10 all. Despite the Bulldogs dominating the boards early in the game, the Archers end the first quarter with a 6-point lead, 26-20.
In the second period, Archers slowly executed their plays and slowly started to pull away as they played a more composed game compared to how they performed in the first quarter; they led the Bulldogs by 9, 31-22.
Big man Ben Mbala drew Issa Gaye’s third foul, causing the latter to sit out in the remainder of the period. By the end of the first half, Ben Mbala lead all scorers with 13 points, followed by Ricci Rivero, who has 11 points, and Brent Paraiso with 5 points. At the end of the first half, the Archers became the dominant team as they led the Bulldogs by 12, 47-35.
Come the third period, the rough start switched over to NU as it was their turn to have trouble executing their plays. DLSU’s second leading scorer, Ricci Rivero completed a 3pt-play opportunity, which extended their lead to 14, 59-45.
At the 5:20 mark, Santi Santillan committed an unsportsmanlike foul, which gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to cut the lead. NU’s Issa Gaye, who’s been in foul trouble early in the first half, committed his 4th foul at the 2:01 mark; while their other big man, Matthew Aquino also committed his 4th foul, with 1:34 remaining. At the end of the 3rd quarter, DLSU remained at the lead with 16 points, 73-57.
Co-Captain Kib Montalbo started the offense for the Archers in the fourth quarter with a 3-pt shot, that extended their lead to 19, 76-57. Halfway through the final quarter, the Bulldogs played more intense defense which caused a turnover by the Archers. Despite the pressure defense by the Bulldogs, their two big men, Gaye and Aquino fouled out of the game. With the game already decided, the Archers emptied their bench to close it out.
A week from now, La Salle will face Ateneo to end the second round of the eliminations.
Though the twice-to-beat is already secured, still exect the Archers to go all out against the currently undefeated Blue Eagles and keep the momentum going into the playoffs.