By the Numbers: What Doomed the Blue Eagles Against La Salle?

Ateneo had the chance for an automatic Finals berth but failed. Miserably

De LaSalle Green Archers Fans
The fans of the Green Archers have many reasons to cheer about after yesterday’s win.

If you will recall what happened last season, the De La Salle Green Archers, then led by Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala had the chance to sweep the elimination round heading into game number 14 which was against none other than the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles. 
To everyone’s surprise, the Blue Eagles, a team nobody else expected to make the Final 4 that season, did the unexpected and handed the Green Archers their first and only loss of Season 79 as both teams went on to face each other in the Finals which was won by the Green Archers.
Yesterday, it was a complete reversal of roles. The Blue Eagles headed into their final game of the elimination round with a 13-0 record. 
In fact, the Blue Eagles even held a 12-point lead in the 4th quarter until La Salle Coach Aldin Ayo removed his Ralph Lauren jacket and threw it on the floor in frustrations. 
The result: the Green Archers went on a 10-0 run en route to a 79-76 victory over the Blue Eagles which restored a Final 4 platform which will start this coming Saturday to determine who will face who in the Finals.
How did La Salle’s spoil the fun for the Blue Eagles in a game that wasn’t decided until the final possession? Check the numbers below:

Big Ben with Big Numbers

Let’s start with the obvious one. If there’s one guy who could lead La Salle to victory as we saw last season, it’s the big guy in the middle, the reigning MVP, Ben Mbala. 
In yesterday’s game against the guys in blue, Mbala scored 13 points in the 2nd quarter alone en route finishing the game with 28 points, 19 rebounds, 6 steals and 6 blocks for another MVP-worthy performance and he was unchallenged for most parts. 
In fact, Mbala’s defensive presence in the dying seconds of the game prevented Ateneo from taking the lead. Mind you, #23 was hurt during the game but came back and scored crucial points down the stretch. 

21 Points from Ricci Rivero

Sure, Ateneo failed to contain Ben Mbala but Ricci Rivero? If anything, Ateneo’s equally costly failure to defend Ricci Rivero is another thing that cost them an automatic Finals berth in the first place. The younger Rivero scored 21 points- on an efficient 7 of 13 shooting, to compliment Mbala’s 28. 

La Salle’s Experience Prevailed in the 4th

The Green Archers outscored the Blue Eagles 25-13 in the final quarter alone. Even though they fell behind by as much as 12 points, they kept their composure which enabled them to hold onto the lead. 
Overall, it was La Salle’s defensive pressure that kept Ateneo from sweeping through the elimination round. They clamped down on defense. They forced Tab Baldwin’s boys to take low percentage shots and commit silly turnovers (22). 

Conclusion

Sweep or not. We all know that Ateneo and La Salle will meet again in the Finals unless both FEU and Adamson can overcome the twice-to-beat advantages that both Ateneo and La Salle are holding heading into the Final 4. 
For Ateneo, absorbing their first loss of the season will help them in the Final 4 as it will motivate them to do better in the semifinal round especially if they want to contend for another championship.
For La Salle, beating Ateneo, again, should not be a big deal for them because what should matter more is the championship. Beating their archrival is only a bonus if anything. 

La Salle completed a come from behind win against college rival Ateneo

The De La Salle University Green Archers and Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles added a new chapter in their historic rivalry when both teams met yesterday at MOA Arena, on what could be the most anticipated college game of the year.

But it was the Green Archers who used a strong second half to complete a come from behind win, 80-76, over Blue Eagles.

The 1st Quarter ended with Ateneo leading La Salle 25-13.

Ateneo enjoyed a 10-point lead at half 46-36. Ateneo led as much as 15 points in the 1st half.

Green Archers displayed tight pressing defense, accurate 3-point shooting, and forced consecutive turnovers to its rivalry team to tie the game 61-all at the end of 3rd Quarter.

The 4th quarter started with trading basket for each teams. The supporters from each schools does not only unticipates the rivalry from both school but also match-up between the Phenom from Ateneo, Kiefer Ravena, who is now healthy and in top shape versus La Salle’s King Archer, Jeron Teng. The two players trade baskets when their team needed them the most.

In the end, it is the Green Archers taking home the victory with Teng leading the team with 18 points. while Ravena led the Blue Eagles with 19 points.

Boxscore:

DLSU 80 – Teng 18, Torres 15, Perkins 13, Rivero 10, Torralba 9, Caracut 6, Tratter 4, Navarro 3, Muyang 2, Sargent 0.

ATENEO 76 – Ravena 19, Ikeh 13, Capacio 10, Gotladera 8, Pessumal 8, Tolentino 7, Pingoy 6, Apacible 2, Babilonia 2, Ma. Nieto 1, Cani 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 13-25, 36-46, 61-61, 80-76.