Archers rip Warriors to stretch streak to four and secure spot in UAAP semis
Ben Mbala and three other Archers score in double figures. Marlo Cueto

LA Salle overwhelmed University of the East, 99-78, on Wednesday to notch its fourth consecutive win and clinch a Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Green Archers never trailed and led by as many as 27 points to hike their record to 9-2 and tightened their grip on second place behind unbeaten Ateneo.

The Green Archers are on their longest winning run of the season, while the Red Warriors suffered their eighth time loss in 11 matches.

Ben Mbala had 25 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks for the Green Archers, Santi Santillan added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Ricci Rivero and Justine Baltazar each scored 13.

Pasaol had another solid outing with 23 points, but way short of the 32-point performance against University of the Philippines on Sunday.

For most of the game, he had to take shots over the Mbala and ended up with an 8-of-19 field goal shooting.

La Salle was up 28-18 at the end of the first period and took a commanding 74-47 lead in the third quarter.

Although UE was able to cut the gap to 14 in the fourth period, La Salle kept its composure as the Archers responded with another run to take full control once again, sweeping its season series with the Red Warriors.

The scores:

La Salle 99 – Mbala 25, Santillan 14, Ri. Rivero 13, Baltazar 13, Melecio 7, Tratter 6, Montalbo 5, P. Rivero 4, Caracut 3, Go 3, Gonzales 3, Paraiso 2, Tero 1, Capacio 0.

UE 78 – Pasaol 23, Olayon 18, Derige 9, Varilla 8, Maloles 6, Acuno 6, Cullar 4, Bartolome 2, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Conner 0, Gagate 0.

Quarterscores: 28-18; 53-34; 77-55; 99-78.

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