LA Salle dumped Letran, 78-70, in coach Aldin Ayo’s first game against the Knights to finish the group stage of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup unscathed on Sunday night at The Arena in San Juan.
The Archers broke the game wide open in the third quarter where they outscored the Knights 29-15 to cruise to their seventh straight victory, while handing the eliminated Knights their fifth loss in seven games.
Ayo stressed there was nothing personal against the Knights, whom he led to the NCAA championship last season in his first and only year at the helm.
“Ginagawa ko lang trabaho ko,” Ayo said after the game. “Sa akin naman, as much as possible, gusto ko rin i-push yung mga yun. Actually tradition naman ng Letran yun, na kahit sa ensayo, you always bring out the best sa kapwa mo Letranista.”
The La Salle coach implied he, in fact, was doing his former team a favor.
“The best thing to do is to challenge them, kasi every time you challenge them, they get better,” he said.
Jeron Teng showed the way with 22 points and four assists, while Ben Mbala added 14 points and 18 boards for the Archers, who will face Face Far Eastern University in the quarterfinals.
“We countered their effort by our effort also,” Ayo said. “Kasi yung mga batang yun, maglalaro talaga yun ng effort, so walang ibang pang-counter dun kundi effort din.”