La Salle beats San Beda to move a win away from PCCL finals

(From by Brian Lance Tamayao) – In a battle of undefeated teams in the 2014 Philippine Collegiate Champions League Elite 8, the reigning PCCL champions DLSU Green Archers emerged as winners against the San Beda Red Lions, 61-56 after withstanding a late comeback by the NCAA kings.

Jeron Teng produced a healthy stat line with 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks to keep his team invincible in the eight-team tournament that pits the best college basketball teams against each other. Ben Mbala also racked up nine points alongside 14 rebounds and Thomas Torres also had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Bedans started the game ahead by five after an 8-0 run that allowed them to take a lead as big as seven. The Red Lions banked on trips to the freethrow line to create a noticeable gap between them and the Lasallians.

La Salle pounced back in the second quarter with the starters teaming up well with the spark plugs from the bench to erase San Beda’s lead by halftime. Jeron scored three game-tying baskets in the dying minutes of the first half to make it a virtual back-to-zero affair in the second half.

The Lasallians flaunted their muscles on defense by allowing the Red Lions to score just one field goal and five points in total. Offensively, the Green Archers displayed fine shooting to erect a 14-point advantage heading into the last 10 minutes of the game.

The Red Lions fought back right away in the fourth to trim the deficit to eight via a quick 6-0 run off La Salle’s miscues. The boys in red came as close as five points behind the Green Archers who held their ground despite struggling to make their shots by forcing turnovers and ill-taken attempts by San Beda.

The return of Teng and Mbala from a short rest on the bench paid dividends with the duo scoring a couple of shots to neutralize San Beda’s offensive spurt. The game’s turning point came when Mbala located an unchallenged Rivero who scooped an easy layup that expanded the Green Archers’ lead to eight at 60-52. Despite the Red Lions’ determination to wipe out the gap, La Salle held on to a five-point victory.

The win fortified La Salle’s chances of retaining the PCCL crown with a 3-0 record to stay as the tournament’s only unbeaten team. They will be gunning for a whitewash on Monday, 4PM, at the New Ynares Arena in Pasig City when they square off against the FEU Tamaraws.

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