Too much Ben Mbala as La Salle Green Archers settle a score with UP Maroons
Ben Mbala makes his presence felt on both ends of the floor. Marlon Cueto

BEN Mbala proved too much to handle as La Salle dominated University of the Philippines, 85-62, on Sunday in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The hulking Mbala dominated from the onset and never once let up as the Green Archers (7-2) won their second successive game while avenging one of only two losses they had this season.

Mbala finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and blocks while Ricci Rivero added 20 points for the Green Archers, whose lead reached a high of 28 points.

The Cameroonian national player already had 20 points in the first half, when the Green Archers opened a 51-27 lead that only swelled in the second half.

As if his scoring wasn't enough, Mbala also provided suffocating defense against UP top scorer Paul Desiderio in late in the second quarter where La Salle led by as many as 25 points, 45-20.

Desiderio, who collected 30 points in the first-round win over La Salle, was limited to seven points in 31 minutes of play and went a woeful 2-of-13 from the field.

Overall, UP shot 33 percent from the field and Jun Manzo proved the lone bright spot with 19 points as the Maroons suffered their fifth loss in nine matches.

For the fourth straight game, La Salle coach Aldin Ayo declined to make the customary post-game media interviews for winning coaches.

UP led, 11-7, in the first quarter but it was all La Salle from there. The Green Archers went on a 17-3 run to take command, 24-14, at the end of the first period.

The scores:

DLSU (85) - Mbala 27, Ri. Rivero 20, Montalbo 12, Go 8, Santillan 7, P. Rivero 3, Baltazar 3, Melecio 3, Caracut 2, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Gonzales 0, Tero 0.

UP (62) - Manzo 13, Ouattara 9, Desiderio 7, Ju. Gomez de Liano 7, Ja. Gomez de Liano 6, Lim 6, Vito 6, Webb 5, Jaboneta 3, Dario 0, Harris 0, Romero 0, Lao 0.

Quarterscores: 24-14, 51-27, 65-45, 85-62.

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