BEN Mbala scored 20 points and hauled down 12 rebounds as De La Salle used a big third quarter to beat Far Eastern University, 74-61, on Monday and advance to the finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Mbala, the prized Cameroonian find of La Salle, was instrumental in a decisive run that saw the reigning champions outscore the Tamaraws, 27-9, on the way to sweeping all four games in the Elite Eight stage.
“We went big. We used Mbala, (Abu) Tratter, and (Prince) Rivero all at the same time. We tried to control the rebounds in the third,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
Jeron Teng had 14 points while Rivero added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Green Archers, who will face either University of San Carlos or San Beda in the best-of-three finals that will start on Thursday.
The Red Lions only need a win over Arellano on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena to gain the other finals berth.
The Tamaraws (1-2) didn’t play with a full roster with some of their top players including UAAP Mythical Five winner Mac Belo suiting up for the FEU-backed MJM M-Builders in the PBA D-League.
Joe Allen Trinidad had 12 points while Al Francis Tamsi and Prince Orizu added 11 and 10 each for FEU. Mike Tolomia had seven points.
DLSU (74) – Mbala 20, Teng 14, Rivero 12, Torres 7, Salem 6, Tratter 5, Montalbo 5, Bolick 5, Pasual 0, Mustre 0, Muyang 0.
FEU (61) – Trinidad 12, Tamsi 11, Orizu 10, Tolomia 7, Delfinado 6, Lee Yu 6, Ri. Escoto 5, Pogoy 4, Denila 0, Ebona 0.
Quarters: 18-11, 33-37, 60-46, 74-61.