Bouncing Back: DLSU displays depth as Green Archers clobber Tigers by 29 points sans Melecio

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After a stunning loss vs the Fighting Maroons, the De La Salle University Green Archers came back stronger.

The Aljun Melecio-less DLSU Green Archers showed their depth against as they dominated the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 115-86, in their first meeting in the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Saturday.

Melecio’s absence due to an illness gave way for the rest of the Green Archers to unleash their potential on the hardcourt. Coach Aldin fully utilized his roster and his wards did not disappoint.

La Salle’s offense was anchored by their unselfish ball movement, dishing out 26 assists in the game, while holding their ground on defense with ‘Mayhem’ that led to 24 fastbreak points.

Caracut pushed DLSU’s lead to 24 with a pair of free throws, 50-26, with 5:10 left in the first half.

The Espana-based crew fought back to trim the deficit t0 18, 60-42, at halftime.

Faundo capped off a run by UST To put a scare on the Green Archers as the former were able to cut the latter’s lead down to 13, 69-56, with 5:09 still to go in the third canto.

The Green Archers regrouped and increased the edge to as high as 31 points that eventually led to the emphatic win.

Ben Mbala spearheaded the attack for the Taft-based squad with 29 points and nine rebounds. Andrei Caracut tallied 14 markers and five assists.

Santi Santillan and Prince Rivero chipped in 13 and 11 points respectively. Kib Montalbo once again proved to be a defensive gem with five steals.

Wendell De Guzman top-scored for the Growling Tigers with 18 points. Steve Akomo added 15 and 13, while Jordan Sta. Ana posted 14 markers.

DLSU climbed up to a 4-1 record, while UST remained winless with a 0-6 slate.

Quarter scores: 30-21, 60-42, 85-63, 115-86.

Box scores:

DLSU 115 – Mbala 29, Caracut 14, Santillan 13, P. Rivero 11, Montalbo 8, Tratter 8, Go 7, Capacio 7, R. Rivero 7, Tero 5, Baltazar 4, Paraiso 2, Gonzales 0.

UST 86 – De Guzman 18, Akomo 15, Sta. Ana 14, Macasaet 8, Lee 8, Faundo 8, Romero 4, Kwawukumey 4, Escalambre 2, Huang 2, Caunan 2, Arana 1, Garcia 0, Lorenzana 0, Soriana 0.