LA Salle pounced on an Allwell Oraeme-less Mapua in the fourth quarter as the Green Archers mauled the Cardinals, 93-76, to stay unbeaten in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Cameroonian reinforcement Ben Mbala finished with 29 points, 22 rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Green Archers, who cruised to their third consecutive win.
Trailing 60-61 at the end of the third period, the Taft-based squad capitalized on Oraeme’s ejection in the fourth after a scuffle with La Salle guard Kib Montalbo at the 7:45 mark.
Both were thrown out of the game.
La Salle unleashed an 11-2 run to take the lead, 71-63, that ballooned to a 20-point margin, 97-87, after a Jeron Teng pull-up jumper.
"We lacked effort in the first half," said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo. "That's our system eh, we rely on our effort. If we don't exert effort, we're going to get beaten."
“Nung [nawala] si Oraeme, we went to our strength,” he explained. “They don't have a big man so we went to our strength, Ben, Abu (Tratter), and Prince (Rivero). Nagkaroon kami ng tatlong bigs sa rotation dahil wala silang big man. Ganun naman ‘yung basketball eh, kung saan mahina ang kalaban kailangan i-exploit, kung saan ang kalakasan, doon iwasan.”
Abu Tratter contributed 17 points for La Salle, while Teng added 16.
Andoy Estrella led the way for Mapua with 17 points, while Almel Orquina added 13 and Jr Raflores had 12. The Cardinals dropped to 1-2.
La Salle 93 - Mbala 29, Tratter 17, Teng 16, Montalbo 9, Torres 6, Melecio 5, Caracut 3, P. Rivero 3, Langston 3, Go 2, Gob 0, R. Rivero 0
Mapua 76 - Estrella 17, Orquina 13, Raflores 12, Oraeme 8, Biteng 7, Isit 6, Victoria 4, Magboo 2, Serrano 2, Bunag 2, Dela Cruz 2, Gamboa 1, Aguirre 0, Dela Rosa 0
Quarterscores: 16-14, 32-39, 60-61, 93-76