THE La Salle Green Archers got a game-high 28 points from a confident Jeron Teng as the Archers turned back the defending champion Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 83-78, Wednesday in the 79th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Most of his baskets in the fourth quarter were from inside the paint. Teng scored 10 of his total output in the last 10 minutes to help the Green Archers post the scrambling victory.
Teng said he is more confident about attacking the basket now that they have enough big men, Cameroonian Ben Mbala, Prince Rivero and Justine Baltazar, under the boards.
“When you make attempts and you have a Ben Mbala, you are confident because even if you miss you are confident that he will be around to get the rebounds,” said Teng.
The Green Archers were in front, 75-74, when Teng made his move.
His layup, jumper and two charities touched off La Salle’s scoring burst as they then enjoyed an 82-76 edge in the last 16 seconds.
It was a rousing debut for new coach Aldin Ayo who said he was just giving his wards the chance to prove themselves.
“A win is a win. Well, that was a hard-fought game. We were rusty. That was our first game in a while. We hadn’t played an actual game for almost three weeks. Our last tune-up game was cancelled. We were rusty and there was poor decision-making, especially on our defense and especially during the end-game,” said Ayo.
The La Salle mentor said it was a good win, especially because a lot is expected from the Green Archers.
“For me every game is like a championship compared to my time in the NCAA. There are a lot of expectations, a lot of hype. But it’s still basketball,” said Ayo. Peter Atencio
Indeed, Mbala was a force down low with 23 rebounds, 10 of which came from the offensive board.