LA SALLE showed there's life after Ben Mbala and Aldin Ayo, dealing the Gilas Pilipinas cadets a humbling 91-72 defeat on Friday night in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
New Zealander Taane Samuel impressed for La Salle, scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds for a team that lost its coach and top player after a UAAP Finals loss to rival Ateneo last season.
Guard Aljun Melecio added 18 points, five rebounds and five assists to complete La Salle's emphatic win over a Gilas side that included former Green Archers Ricci and Prince Rivero as well as Abu Tratter.
Samuel, a 6-foot-8 center who is set to make his UAAP debut next season, dominated Gilas' big men. His putback with 2:10 minutes left opened an 82-72 win for the Green Archers.
Kib Montalbo hit three three-pointers to put a fitting climax to the emphatic win.
Montalbo played well on both ends of the floor for La Salle to finish with 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals for La Salle, which bagged its second win in as many games.
Aljun Melecio also had 18 markers and seven assists for the Green Archers, while Samuel made 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Kobe Paras led Gilas with 19 points, while Juan Gomez de Liaño and Arvin Tolentino had 14 markers apiece.
La Salle (91): Montalbo 25, Melecio 18, Samuel 16, Santillan 10, Baltazar 6, Go 6, Dyke 4, Corteza 2, Tolentino, Capacio 2, Bates 0, Herrera 0
Gilas (72): Paras 19, Gomez de Liano 14, Tolentino Ar 14, Tratter 8, Rivero Ri 6, Tolentino Vi 3, Ambohot 3, Desiderio 3, Gozum 2, Alejandro 1, Rivero Pr, Tuffin 0, Mocon 0, Tamayo 0
Quarterscores: 14-27, 39-47, 66-65, 91-72