MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers stayed undaunted in the face of the country’s best collegiate players.
Down by as many as 20 points in the first half, the Green Archers slowly chipped away the deficit with their feared perimeter shooting and destroyed Gilas Pilipinas in a stunning turnaround, 91-72, at the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup in San Juan, Friday, April 27.
Led by the deadly backcourt tandem of captain Kib Montalbo and Aljun Melecio, the Archers grabbed the lead in the third quarter, 66-65, after back-to-back post shots by towering big man Justine Baltazar.
La Salle never looked back and punctuated its resurgence with a 20-1 run courtesy of three straight emphatic triples by Montalbo in the last minute.
This was far from the case in the first two quarters, however, as the national team stormed to a 34-14 lead in the second thanks to a personal 7-0 run by Arvin Tolentino.
Kobe Paras drained a triple for another 20-point lead, 41-21, but La Salle responded with an 11-0 run, 32-41, on the back of big man Taane Samuel and Montalbo.
Gilas would not lead again after a 65-64 edge in the third as it last tied the game at 71-all in the fourth, after a breakaway tomahawk jam by Paras.
Montalbo outscored the entire Gilas team in the fourth, 12-7. He finished with a full line of 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 7/11 (64%) from downtown.
On the other end, Paras led Gilas with 19 points, 3 boards and 2 steals.
Ex-La Salle star Ricci Rivero, who saw action against his former team for the first time, chipped in 6 points.
The national team remained winless in two outings as La Salle climbed to a 2-0 record to tie rival Ateneo.
DLSU 91 – Montalbo 25, Melecio 18, Samuel 16, Santillan 10, Baltazar 6, Go 6, Dyke 4, Corteza 2, Tolentino, Capacio 2, Bates 0, Herrera 0.
GILAS CADETS 72 – Paras 19, Gomez de Liano 14, Tolentino Ar 14, Tratter 8, Rivero Ri 6, Tolentino Vi 3, Ambohot 3, Desiderio 3, Gozum 2, Alejandro 1, Rivero Pr, Tuffin 0, Mocon 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarters: 14-27, 39-47, 66-65, 91-72