MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers defeat the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 92-83, in game 2 of the UAAP men's basketball championship playoffs Wednesday, November 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers extend the best-of-three finals series to a game 3 where the archrivals will battle for the title one last time this Season 80.
The Green Archers were able to rally back in the second half as Ben Mbala clinched the lead for DLSU (60-58) with 2:03 left in the third quarter. As the Blue Eagles continued to cool down, the defending champions managed to pull the lead away via the heroics of back-to-back MVP Mbala.
Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
Mbala led the Green Achers with a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds while making two assists and 3 steals. Ricci Rivero came up big in the second half as he followed with 18 points – 12 of which were from the last two periods. Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio also put up double digits of 13 points and 12 points, respectively.
Five Blue Eagles also managed to register double digits with Thirdy Ravena leading the Blue Eagles with 20 points, 6 boards, 4 assists and 1 steal. Aaron Black powered the 4th quarter with 11 markers out of his 15 points. Anton Asistio's first half hot shooting saw him tally a total of 13 points, while Isaac Go and Matt Nieto followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Blue Eagles got off to a strong start, leading by as much as 21 points in the first half. Asistio waxed hot from the 3-point range drained 4-of-5 triples in the first two periods alone.
The Green Archers had a lackluster first half as they were unable to lock down the hot shooting Blue Eagles and sharpen their offense. It was only until Rivero picked up his 4th foul of the game in the second quarter that Mbala's alley-oop jam sparked a 10-0 run for DLSU to close out the first half.
Game 3 will be on Sunday, December 3, 4 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU 92 – Mbala 20, Rivero R 18, Caracut 13, Melecio 12, Montalbo 9, Santillan 8, Rivero P 8, Tratter 4, Tero 0, Go 0, Baltazar 0.
ATENEO 83 – Ravena 20, Black 15, Asistio 13, Go 11, Nieto Ma 10, Ikeh 6, Mendoza 5, Tolentino 2, Tio 1, Verano 0, Nieto Mi 0, Mamuyac 0, Porter 0.
QUARTERS: 15-32, 42-51, 68-59, 92-83.
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.