By Adrian Taningco
The De La Salle Green Archers thumped the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 79-67, to claim its first win in the 74th University Athletic Association of the Philippines Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rebounding was the key for the Archers’ victory, as the Maroons were subdued in the battle of the boards, 38-64, against the taller La Salle.
“We’re an undersized team, we only have one legitimate center in Alinko Mbah,” said Mike Silungan, who led the Maroons with 16 points, but scored only three in the second half. “They outrebounded us and that was a big factor why we lost.”
La Salle made its decisive run in the third quarter, beginning the second half on a 14-2 run. The Archers stretched their lead to as much as 20 points and never looked back.
Guard Luis Dela Paz led a balanced Archers attack with 14 points, while forward Maui Villanueva grabbed 10 rebounds to spearhead La Salle, who had seven players with at least six boards.
Meanwhile, Nigerian center Alinko Mbah had his best game to date, scoring 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, but had little support in containing the relentless Lasallian rebounders.
“We need to be a team in boxing out (for rebounds),” Mbah said.