Ricci and Prince Rivero come up clutch as Archers nip Bulldogs to gain share of lead with Eagles
Ricci Rivero and five other Archers score in double figures. Dante Peralta

RICCI Rivero and Prince Rivero came up clutch as La Salle beat National University, 115-109, on Saturday in a high-scoring affair in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Rivero brothers clustered six points to increase the Green Archers lead to five points, 112-107, with 25 seconds left and held on for the win.

La Salle, still without Ben Mbala, stayed unbeaten after two games to share the lead with Ateneo.

The last time two teams scored at least a 100 points in a UAAP game was on August 13, 2006 when NU won over University of the Philippines, 107-104, according to UAAP chief statistician Pong Ducanes.

After a so-so performance on opening weekend, Ricci Rivero bounced back and delivered 21 points, seven rebounds and two assists for the Archers.

Aljun Melecio had another big game with 20 points, eight assists and three steals, while Jollo Go went 5-of-8 from the 3-point line and finished with 19 points.

Santi Santillan had 13 points and 16 rebounds for La Salle, which trailed by 11, 80-69, in the third quarter but a big run tied the match at 82 before they took a 91-88 lead entering the final period.

"That was a good game. We showed lots of tenacity. We were resilient and the composure was there," said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo.

Joshua Bartlett led NU with 23 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

J-Jay Alejandro had 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Bulldogs.

Both teams showed offensive brilliance as they scored a combined 126 points at the half with La Salle leading, 65-61.

The scores:

La Salle 115 –  R. Rivero 21, Melecio 20, Go 19, Santillan 13, Tratter 11, P. Rivero 10, Caracut 9, Montalbo 8, Baltazar 4.

NU 109 –  Bartlett 23, Alejandro 18, Gaye 16, Salem 12, Aquino 10, Morido 5, Diputado 5, Yu 4, Lastimosa 4, Tibayan 4, Abatayo 4, Mosqueda 2, Rangel 2, Cauilan 0, Joson 0, Flores 0.

Quarterscores: 31-29; 65-61; 91-88; 115-109.


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