The Green Archers have been dethroned three times in the last nine months.
After failing to defend the UAAP and PCCL titles late last year, the Green Archers were once again unseated, this time in the FilOil Preseason tournament via a 53-79 beatdown at the hands of San Beda in the championship match.
Jeron Teng scored 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field but the rest of the starters struggled to find their rhythm on offense against the stingy defense put up by the Red Lions. Rookie Andrei Caracut is the only other Archer in double figures with 10 points.
La Salle actually started hot and led 13-8 at the end of the first period. But that all changed come the second quarter as San Beda went on a 22-4 run to seize control of the match. The Green Archers managed to trim the halftime deficit to 6 in the closing seconds with Jeron Teng making five straight free throws, two of which came from technical fouls.
That was the closest the Green Archers would get the rest of the way.
With their turnovers piling up and at the same time allowing the Red Lions to score easily from underneath, La Salle was staring at a 22-point deficit entering the final quarter.
The team made a last-ditch attempt for a comeback scoring several quick baskets early in the fourth but their lagging defense allowed San Beda to maintain their huge lead until the end of the game.
Bench scoring was a big key to the loss as La Salle’s second stringers only managed to score just 2 points as compared to San Beda’s 34.
Ryusei Koga topscored with 18 points for the Red Lions, who won their first-ever FilOil championship.
La Salle played without Prince Rivero, Arnold Van Opstal and Lorenzo Navarro. The team lost Kib Montalbo in the early part of the tournament with an ACL injury that will sideline him for the upcoming UAAP season in September.
The Green Archers finished the tournament with an 8-3 record. Two of those losses came against San Beda.
San Beda (79) – Koga 18, Tankoua 12, Adeogun 11, Dela Cruz 10, Tongco 8, Sara 6, Mendoza 6, Sorela 6, Mocon 2, Soberano 0, Sedillo 0, Presbitero 0, Carlos 0, Abude 0, Abuda 0
La Salle (53) – Teng 21, Caracut 10, Torres 8, Perkins 6, Tratter 6, Sargent 1, Go 0, Torralba 0, Muyang 0, Gob 0, Pascual 0
Quarter Scores: 8-13, 32-26, 59-37, 79-53