In the biggest upset of the young season so far, UP showed everyone that they are for real, as the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons upsets the defending champions De La Salle University Green Archers, 98-87. Both teams are now tied at 3-1.
La Salle dominated the first quarter, thanks to an explosive performance by Ben Mbala. Mbala went 4/4 from downtown during the opening period, and he finished with 16 points, as the opening period ended with DLSU in full control, 27-18. But it was all UP afterwards.
Paul Desiderio exploded for 30 big points, which included 6 triples. But it was not a one-man show for the Maroons as he had ample help from his teammates. Jun Mazo dropped 17 points while the de Liano brothers scored 10 points each. Rob Ricafort finally made his much anticipated season debut. He only scored 2 points, but his presence energized his teammates to make that second quarter run, and UP never looked back after that.
Ben Mbala was in his usual dominant self, with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Andrei Caracut scored 15 points but shot only 4/11 from the field. Ricci Rivero scored 12 points but he had his struggles as well; he even missed a dunk during the third quarter when La Salle was trying to get back to the ball game. After a phenomenal first two games, Aljun Melecio has been cold lately, as he shot only 2/12 from the field for this game. After his break out game against NU last week, Jollo Go didn’t play much during this game, going scoreless in just under 4 minutes of play.
UP 98 – Desiderio 30, Manzo 17, Ju. Gomez de Liano 10, Ja. Gomez de Liano 10, Lim 6, Ouattara 6, Jaboneta 6, Dario 5, Romero 4, Ricafort 2, Prado 2, Harris 0, Vito 0, Lao 0.
DLSU 87 – Mbala 34, Caracut 15, Ri. Rivero 12, Ra. Rivero 9, Melecio 5, Montalbo 5, Santillan 5, Paraiso 2, Tratter 0, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 18-27; 47-43; 66-65; 98-87