‘MAYHEM’ basketball was in full display despite the absence of La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo.
With Ayo suspended and top star Jeron Teng sitting out due to an injury, La Salle hardly missed a beat as the Green Archers thoroughly outplayed the Blue Eagles, 97-81, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle assistant coach Louie Gonzales, who coached the Green Archers in place of Ayo, said he asked his players from the get-go to commit to the full court-pressing defense made famous by Ayo during his NCAA title run at La Salle.
That defense led to 16 La Salle steals against only four for Ateneo and a huge 33-17 advantage in points off turnovers.
“I told them right from the start to make life really hard for every possession, talagang pahirapan ‘yung bola, talagang pahirapan ‘yung passing lane. We knew that by the third quarter, it’s payoff time na.
“During the half, sinabi ko sa kanila na trabahuin pa namin. We have to double the effort, kailangan mapunta kami sa ulo ng kalaban. That’s 'mayhem' basketball,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales said the win was a testament to the players sticking to the system even in the absence of the head coach.
“It’s really a testimony of what coach Aldin teaches these players. It’s just being responsible. Naging responsible sila throughout the game.
"We didn’t have any problems na kahit ano pagawa namin sa court, kahit alam namin napakahirap at pagod na sila, they found a way to submit sa coaching staff na hinihingi ng system,” said Gonzales.