LA SALLE took control early and never let up, eliminating Far Eastern University, 78-53, on Wednesday and advancing to the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup semifinals in San Juan.
Ben Mbala led La Salle's attack anew with 32 points, 19 rebounds and two blocks.
Aljun Melecio and Ricci Rivero had 13 points apiece for the Green Archers, who arranged a semifinal showdown with the CJ Perez-led Lyceum on Friday.
"Hindi lang naman si Ben, lahat naman ng mga players motivated kasi syempre yung laro quarterfinals, knockout game. May sense of urgency to win," said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo.
The Green Archers jumped to a 22-11 lead and was ahead, 35-22, at halftime.
The Tamaraws were still behind by 14 early in the fourth and five straight points by Aljun Melecio and a breakaway slam by Ricci Rivero put the game away for good for La Salle, 68-47.
Back-to-back triples by Andrei Caracut gave La Salle its biggest lead at 76-51 with 2:37 left in the game.
Arvin Tolentino and Richard Escoto paced feu with 10 markers each.
La Salle 78 – Mbala 32, Melecio 13, Rivero 13, Caracut 11, Go 4, Santillan 3, Baltazar 2, Tero 0, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Capacio 0.
FEU 53 – Tolentino 10, Escoto 10, Inigo 6, Nunag 6, Tuffin 6, Orizu 5, Cani 4, Ramirez 2, Trinidad 2, Parker 1, Comboy 1, Bienes 0, Stockton 0.
Quartersscores: 20-11; 35-22; 57-41; 78-53.