La Salle overcomes Exie Biteng barrage with comeback over Mapua to stay unbeaten in Filoil Cup
Aljun Melecio conspires with Taene Samuel in leading the La Salle fightback against the Cardinals. Dante Peralta

LA Salle overcame Exie Biteng’s explosion to remain unscathed in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup following a 102-95 win over a surprising Mapua University side on Friday in San Juan.

The Green Archers fell behind by 14 points in the first quarter behind the Biteng onslaught but had enough artillery to turn the game around and claim their sixth win in as many games.

Aljun Melecio and Taene Samuel led the La Salle comeback, joining hands in the Green Archers’ 34-point fourth quarter to put away the tough-fighting Cardinals for good.

“It’s a character game pero not in the sense na nakabalik kami from a deficit. It’s a character game na yung pine-preach ko na we have to be disciplined, na it will not be easy for us,” said La Salle head coach Louie Gonzalez.

“Nakita yung character namin. Yung approach namin na every game we have to go out there and give our one hundred percent. Hindi kami ganun kalakas, pero if we work, kakayanin namin,” he added.

Melecio fired 25 points, spiked by five triples to go along four assists in nearly 30 minutes of action. Samuel added 22 points and eight boards.

La Salle’s towering frontline was in full display in the game as Santi Santillan and Justine Baltazar notched double-doubles, resulting into a 53-40 advantage on the glass.

Santillan finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Baltazar added 11 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.

Biteng finished with a game high 34 points on 6-10 shooting from beyond the arc. Cedric Pelayo added 17 points off the bench for the Cardinals who dropped to 3-2.

 

The scores:

DLSU 102 – Melecio 25, Samuel 22, Santillan 13, Baltazar 12, Dyke 8, Go 8, Caracut 5, Lim 4, Corteza 2, Capacio 2, Tolentino 2, Manaytay 0, Bates 0

MAPUA 95 – Biteng 34, Pelayo 17, Victoria 11, Lugo 9, Bonifacio 8, Serrano 4, Bunag 4, Jabel 4, Pajarillo 2, Aguirre 1, Nocum 1, Gamboa 0

Quarterscores: 16-30, 43-47, 68-69, 102-95

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