Wake-up call: La Salle suffers first loss against red-hot UP

There goes that undefeated start.
The DLSU Green Archers suffered their first defeat of UAAP Season 80 against an on-fire UP Maroons team sparked by Paul Desiderio, 98-87, on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After racing off to another hot start, De La Salle faltered in the second period and let UP take control of the game the rest of the way. The Maroons shot 47% from the floor and converted on 16 attempts from downtown, while limiting the Green Archers to 40% shooting.

Ben Mbala led the green and white with a career-high 34 points plus 12 rebounds, but little was contributed by the rest of the team. Andrei Caracut and Ricci Rivero had 15 and 12 points, respectively, but non-Mbala Green Archers shot a total 20-of-59 from the field.

Desiderio finished with 30 points on only 15 shot attempts for the Maroons, while Jun Manzo scored 17. The Gomez De Liaño brothers each had 10 points. The boys of Coach Bo Perasol did a good job taking care of the handle against DLSU’s Mayhem press, coughing up only 10 turnovers.

UP was ahead only by one entering the final period, but the Green Archers allowed the Maroons to score 32 points in the fourth quarter. A lay-up over Mbala and a 3-pointer from Manzo were the game-separating baskets UP needed to take command.

The Archers will aim to bounce back against UST next Saturday.