View Full Version : Shooting for Back-Back UAAP Championships

Sam Miguel
06-13-2017, 02:15 PM
Loss to Eagles a hard pill to swallow for Archers coach Aldin Ayo: ?Ito yung mga talo na kumukurot?

From: Christian Jacinto

June 12, 2017, 06:00 pm

La Salle coach Aldin Ayo is confident the Archers can solve the issues before the UAAP season opens.

CONSIDERING the effort that the players gave, La Salle?s preseason loss to rival Ateneo was a hard pill to swallow for Archers coach Aldin Ayo.

"Oo parang UAAP eh. Parang season. Ito yung mga talo na kumukurot eh," Ayo said following a lengthy discussion with his assistants after the two-point defeat in the Filoil Premier Cup.

But Ayo has around three months to fine tune everything that needs to be improved for his squad.

Though they still have Ben Mbala to man the paint, Ayo has a generally young squad following the departure of leaders Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins and Thomas Torres.

The losses have been telling for La Salle, by four points or less ? all against veteran squads in Jose Rizal University, San Beda and Ateneo.

After sweeping the preseason tournament last year, they're now in danger of missing out the quarterfinals, toting a 4-3 record, with a game to go.

Ayo attributes those close losses to inexperience and he's confident that it's an issue that they can fix soon.

"Yung mga sa bench last year they are the ones who are starting tapos yung mga last year na wala sa rotation, nasa rotation na ngayon so nag aadjust ang mga yun," Ayo said.

He will be looking at Kib Montalbo, a guy who missed action against the Blue Eagles, to take on the leadership role even as Ricci Rivero, Justine Baltazar and transferee Leonard Santillan are expected to play major minutes.

"Ako very optimistic naman ako na come UAAP time, sila Ricci alam na niya kugn ano mga mali niya nitong preseason tournament. He'll be ready come UAAP and si Santillan naman, he's a rookie pero beterano na rin naman yun. Kailangan lang niya mag- adjust sa UAAP," Ayo continued.

"Baltazar? this is his second year pero last year di naman nakukuha yung ganung playing time pero now he's going to play. So adjustment period."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @bassman500

Sam Miguel
06-13-2017, 02:26 PM
Anybody who thinks Lasalle's current state in the Fil Oil is indicative of what they will be like once the UAAP rolls around is sadly mistaken or deluded.

Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Julian Sargent, and Thomas Torres are tough, battle-proven veterans who will be difficult to replace, true enough.

However, the Green Archers still have the single best player in the UAAP in import Benoit Mbala. Wala talagang katapat.

Kib Montalbo, Prince Rivero (who both missed the Ateneo game due to injuries), Jollo Go, and Andrei Caracut will now be the veterans leading this team. They know mayhem.

Speaking of that, Coach Aldin Ayo may want to develop a new wrinkle, because it looks like teams have figured out how to deal with his signature tactic. Three losses to very experienced teams so far has shown the glitches in this system.

Lasalle still has very good talent, depth, and athleticism, all the factors that make for championship teams. Don't ever think their Fil Oil stint now will hold all the way until September.

06-14-2017, 03:16 AM
^ Tratter should be the most senior but he's had little impact and playing time. Without any contributions from him and Gob being doubtful due to swelling on his indured knee. The Archers, suddenly, looks shallow in the paint

06-14-2017, 03:58 PM
^ Tratter should be the most senior but he's had little impact and playing time. Without any contributions from him and Gob being doubtful due to swelling on his indured knee. The Archers, suddenly, looks shallow in the paint

Brod, diyan natin makita tunay na galing ni Mbala.

Lasalle has the types of players na kayang gumaling pa within a two-month span, ganyan talaga kapag likas na magaling ang players, of course it is then incumbent upon their coaches kung papano nila mapapagaling ang mga bata nila.

06-19-2017, 01:33 PM
Lions out Eagles; Mbala a monster for Archers

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:54 AM June 17, 2017

San Beda dashed Ateneo's hopes to advance with an 82-67 triumph as La Salle clinched the last quarterfinal berth with a 93-77 drubbing of Letran in the 11th Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Robert Bolick unloaded 27 points, including two free throws with 58.4 ticks left that capped the Red Lions' 11-2 outburst.

Javee Mocon and AC Soberano chipped in nine points apiece for the Lions, who swept the elimination round at 8-0.

"It's really tough for Ateneo playing four games in five days," said San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez. "They were a bit tired."

Unlike its fierce rival, defending champion La Salle got the job done against Letran behind Ben Mbala, who dominated the game with 45 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks.

Ricci Rivero also contributed 17 points, five boards and five steals in his full 40 minutes of action.

"Good game," La Salle coach Aldin Ayo said of the Archers' performance against his former champion team in the NCAA. He added that the tournament also serves as preparation for the Archers' UAAP title defense.

La Salle, which finished with a 5-3 record, will take on Group A leader Far Eastern University next, while San Beda will face Group B's fourth seed University of the Philippines in the quarterfinals starting Wednesday.


06-19-2017, 01:41 PM
^ This is what I keep harping on, magaling pa din talaga si Benoit Mbala, 45 points and 17 rebounds is nothing to sneeze at.

Ricci Rivero naman binabad ng husto, wala talagang pahinga. Gusto ko talaga makita kung ano developmental chops ni Coach Aldin Ayo, lalo na para kay Ricci.

This kid has the natural tools to be a very successful PBA player someday, basta matutukan ang development niya. Second year na niya in college, dito na natin makikita kung magiging Cyrus Baguio ba siya or magiging Nino Gelig.

He has every natural gift I look for in a player: height, length, athleticism. Kelangan na lang ma-maximize niya itong mga gifts niya.

He was given the minutes this summer and in fairness gumawa naman siya. Time to see how that translates into the UAAP.

06-22-2017, 02:56 PM
Mbala dominates FEU, as La Salle completes FilOil Final 4 cast

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 21 2017 07:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University kept alive its title defense in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup after crushing Far Eastern University, 78-53, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday in San Juan.

With the dominant win, the Green Archers completed the Final 4 cast, joining Lyceum, San Beda, and Jose Rizal University to the next round.

La Salle will take on Lyceum in Friday's semifinal at 3:15 p.m.

The Tamaraws had no answer for reigning UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who finished with 32 points and 19 rebounds, making 10 of his 18 field goals and 11 of 12 free throws.

"Lahat motivated kasi quarterfinals and knockout game, so may sense of urgency," La Salle coach Aldin Ayo said.

Mbala had 17 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone as La Salle raced to a 35-22 advantage. FEU managed to trim the deficit down to 12 points, 59-47, off a Kenneth Tuffin triple with 7:12 left, but that was when the Green Archers broke the game open.

An Mbala triple touched off a blistering 11-0 run, which saw Aljun Melecio score five straight points and Ricci Rivero elevate for a dunk, as La Salle built a 70-47 advantage.

The lead grew to 25 points, 76-51, after Andrei Caracut nailed back-to-back three-pointers.

There was some drama in the closing moments of the contest, when FEU's Arvin Tolentino was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after elbowing La Salle's Abu Tratter with 1:40 left.

Melecio added 13 points, seven assists, and three steals, while Rivero also had 13 points despite missing all seven of his three-pointers. Caracut finished with 11 points.

Tolentino and Richard Escoto led FEU with 10 points each.

La Salle outrebounded FEU, 58-37, and forced the Tamaraws to commit 22 turnovers that resulted in 18 points for the Green Archers.

The scores:

DLSU 78 – Mbala 32, Melecio 13, Rivero 13, Caracut 11, Go 4, Santillan 3, Baltazar 2, Tero 0, Tratter 0, Gonzales 0, Capacio 0.

FEU 53 – Tolentino 10, Escoto 10, Inigo 6, Nunag 6, Tuffin 6, Orizu 5, Cani 4, Ramirez 2, Trinidad 2, Parker 1, Comboy 1, Bienes 0, Stockton 0.

Quarter-scores: 20-11, 35-22, 57-41, 78-53.

06-22-2017, 02:57 PM
^ 32 and 19 naman. Mbala is giving us a foretaste of what he will do in the UAAP.

06-23-2017, 07:46 AM
Baka maburn out yan pag dating ng September.

06-24-2017, 11:44 PM
Grabe yun Aljun- Ricci- Andrei trio

06-26-2017, 06:51 AM
Malakas ang la salle kaya lang 3 lang play ang alam ni ayo 1) post up ben 2) isolate melecio 3) off screen sa shooter. Kung ganyan lang naku po mikhang magpapalit nanaman ng coach. Lumabas na weakness ni mbala, hirap siya sa malakas at athletic na bantay tulad ni noah, ilan beses siya nag turnover.

admiral thrawn
06-26-2017, 03:13 PM
Actually MBala was able to score sa fil oil finals..bit scattered sya buong game naipon lang.and he was not able to dominate (meaning not the usual Mbala we regularly see) against the Red Lions. Maganda yung depensa sa kanya..2 to 3 players would hound him whenever he has the ball in such a way that he cant see an open teammate para mapasahan..kadalasan pipilitan nya na lang itira...may pumapasok may mga sablay. .I guess having Adamos and Mocon who are both tall and used to ncaa bangas baskeball, add Carino( in the 4th quarter) worked wonders for the Red Lions.....dagdag mo pa yung opensa ni potts and doliguez..tapos may bolick pa..

Pero make no mistake about it..come uaap time..this team will be a force to reckon..lalu na pag nakabalik na yung mga injured players nila

06-28-2017, 07:39 AM
^ Mga Boss, alalahanin din ng buong UAAP na wala (pang) San Beda sa liga namin, kaya 99% sure ako Lasalle will get their back-to-back championship this season. Magalit na sa akin mga kapwa ko Atenista, may laban naman kami, kaya nga 99% chance binibigay ko sa Lasalle, hindi pa naman 100% sure 'yan. Let me just say I think the road to the UAAP title still passes through Taft Ave. Real talk lang naman ang akin.

admiral thrawn
06-28-2017, 01:26 PM
Pero unti unti ng nasisiwalat yung style ng coaching nila.buking na yung mayhem ni Coach Ayo..parang nung time no Caoch Franz at Coach Louie..yung 40 minutes of full court press na solve ni Coach Norman sa uaap at ni coach banal anf frankie sa liga namin. Si Mbala talaga ang magdadala sa team na ito.His presence is equivalent to three players. mapipilitan talagang mag travelling or mag change ng shot kung siya ang bantay mo..kung sya naman ang babantayan mo durog ang kalamnan mo ang lakas ng katawan nito..mabilis pa yung spin move nya sa ilalim.add the fact that he can eassily rebound the ball after he missed his own shot. You just hope he gets tired after playing for alm0st 40 minutes. pang import na ng ABL or PBA si mamang Ben.

06-29-2017, 07:00 AM
^ Agree Admiral. Best import ever na yata si Mbala, maybe ang katapat lang niya if ever 'yung Emeka Udo ninyo dati.

Buti na nga lang nasa inyo na si Berto. Imagine if Mbala had Berto as a teammate the way Berto is playing now.

06-29-2017, 10:35 AM
Malakas pero may silat. Di tulad nung isang taon kulang nalang ibigay yun trophy sa kanila bago magsimula ang torneo.

07-09-2017, 07:49 AM
Malakas ang la salle kaya lang 3 lang play ang alam ni ayo 1) post up ben 2) isolate melecio 3) off screen sa shooter. Kung ganyan lang naku po mikhang magpapalit nanaman ng coach. Lumabas na weakness ni mbala, hirap siya sa malakas at athletic na bantay tulad ni noah, ilan beses siya nag turnover.

Nice observation. But who knows, may tinatago, Baka ilabas pag dating ng UAAP. Sana nga.

08-30-2017, 10:33 AM
After that dust-up against FEU it is becoming clear that the guy taking over Jeron Teng's leadership mantle is Ricci Rivero.

Benoit Mbala is still of course the main reason Lasalle will be headed back to the Finals this year, pero itong Ricci Rivero na ang lumalabas na go-to local for Coach Aldin Ayo.

He will get plenty of help from older brother Prince, the returning Kib Montalbo, and his batchmate Aljun Melecio. Mbala will get good support from newcomer Leonard Santillan, although they may have to wait on Justin Baltazar, who has still not quite shown his full game as a college player.

Going back to the younger Rivero, Ron Dennison just gave him a preview of what he will be facing in Season 80. Bawal ang pikon Ricci, kasi ikaw na ang superstar ngayon para sa Lasalle. You can ask Jeron how he handled all the attention, on and off the court.

I'm not too sure why Coach Ayo has decided to make you his new main man, Ricci. And while you still need to work on a lot of things, I think this should serve you well in the longer term, na ngayon pa lang malaman mo na kung gano katindi ang responsibilidad ng pagiging main man ng team.

09-18-2017, 07:21 AM
No import, no problem. Two games na. Wait till he comes back. Tapos na boxing.

09-19-2017, 02:21 PM
Among this Season 80 crop of players there are maybe only a half dozen or so players who look like they have PBA careers ahead of them, most of them are on this team.

Aljun Melecio, Ricci Rivero, Leonard Santillan, Justin Baltazar, all look like they have PBA futures, and they are all either in their first or second years in the UAAP.

Dito na makikita kung gaano talaga kagaling on the player development front si Coach Aldin Ayo, i.e. can he turn these already good college players into legit PBA first round draft picks when their time comes.

Sa ibang teams, kung potential lang ang pinag-uusapan, baka pwede din sina Tyrus Hill at Jerick Ahanmisi ng Adamson, maybe pwede din si Sean Manganti nila.

Thirdy Ravena looks like he is the only real future PBA player for the Ateneo, with the rest of his teammates already maxing out their potential at this level, although gusto ko pa makita ano pa gagawin nina Gian Mamuyac, Troy Mallillin, at Tyler Tio.

FEU's older recruits like Parker and Ramirez look like they may struggle in the PBA D League, especially given their age, same with Bartlett of NU.

Speaking of NU, Jay Jay Alejandro and Matt Salem might stick in the PBA for maybe two full years. I need to see more of Matt Aquino and Tsaddy Rangel, baka kasi mamaya Marion Magat-level lang pala silang parehas.

Pero sa Lasalle, super sure ako baka nga umabot pa ng future Gilas sina Ricci at Baltazar. Melecio will need to get to the right team, pero he has what it takes to stick, especially since he can shoot on the move.

The future remains bright for Lasalle, pero mas malamang the cliche holds true as well: the future is now.

09-25-2017, 09:44 AM
No need to panic, bilog naman talaga ang bola, ikaw ba naman shoot-an ng UAAP record 16 three-pointers, baka kahit All Defensive First Team ng NBA hindi kaya depensahan 'yon.

Benoit Mbala continues to shine with a career-best 34 points.

Ajlun Melecio picked the wrong time to play like the sophomore he is, getting only five points on horrendous shooting.

Naman kasi, hindi ba talaga uso kay Coach Ayo ang hard show at quick close out sa perimeter? Mainit na nga kalaban parang ayaw pa din maniwala na nakaka-shoot talaga sila, lalo si Paul Desiderio.

Coach Ayo, didn't you review our Fil Oil game?

Dito na lumalabas ang sinasabi kong baka hindi talaga sanay mag-develop ng talent si Coach Ayo; he won with a very veteran Letran team, then won with a very veteran Lasalle team nung andun pa Jeron, Perk, Thomas.

Ngayon puro bata na players niya, pwera kina Kib at Prince, kanya pa din ang best import ever na si Mbala. May talent ang team ni Coach Ayo, gunggong lang ang magsasabing superior across the board ang talent ng UP.

So it came down to things like defending more quickly and more urgently against a hot-shooting UP perimeter, shuffling personnel better and not letting that poor kid Melecio just keep laying on the damn bricks.

Even Jun Manzo was having his way with the Lasalle perimeter (non)defense.

Oh well, mahalaga midway pa lang naman ng Round 1, may panahon pa para umayos ang reigning champions.

It has to begin with Coach Ayo though, pakita niya na hindi lang siya sumasandal kay Mbala.

09-25-2017, 10:47 PM
Parang mahilig nga talaga sa mga hinog/pahikog na na players si coach Ayo. He tried to recruit UST's 6'7" wunderkid (but underutilized by Sablan) Justin Arana and Renzo Subido. They also tried to get Aries Dionisio of St. Clare who, I think, will be ineligble anyway

09-26-2017, 07:10 AM
^ Ayun na nga ba sinsabi ko Brod.

Matagal ko nang suspecha na mahina sa player development si Coach Ayo, now we are seeing it firsthand.

So the problem moving forward now is how will he maximize the potentials of the three sophomores he has now kung mahina pala siya sa development?

10-03-2017, 09:28 AM
Malaki ang contribution sa aggregate talent level ng Lasalle ni Benoit Mbala. Just by being on this roster he makes Lasalle still the top team in terms of actual talent.

Meron ka pang Leonard Santillan, magkuya na Rivero, Andrei Caracut, Aljun Melecio, Kib Montalbo, Justin Baltazar, Abu Tratter. Manaka-naka may Tero pa. Andiyan pa ba si Gonzalez? Hindi ko kasi masyado napupuna. Kung nandiyan isa pang deep reserve 'yan.

Super sure ako chamba lang ang pagkatalo sa UP. Napatunayan 'yan nung tambakan naman si UP nang FEU, at tambakan ng Lasalle ang UST after nung UP loss.

So ayan na tayo. This is without a doubt the most talented team of Season 80.

Ang tanong na lang diyan: Why does it seem they aren't dominating the field as much as their obvious talent suggests?

Ang kasagutan diyan ay dapat manggaling kay Coach Aldin Ayo.

Aanhin ko pa si Mang Tab. Siguro naman sa gulang at karanasan niya dapat lang naman na nakakapalag ang Ateneo gawa ng system niya. Take away that system and I guarantee kamote na ang Ateneo, simply because Ateneo has nowhere near the natural talent of Lasalle.

So ano mangyayari sa October 8?

Sana naman ano man ang mangyari hindi maging laban na meron lang uminit at natmabakan ang kabila. Sana talagang tagisan ng husay at talino sa laro ang maganap.

In any Ateneo-Lasalle match all the stats and analysis can be set aside, ibang klaseng pride na ang usapin diyan.

Whoever can manage and channel the pride better will win.

10-09-2017, 08:33 AM
The one who managed the pride better did indeed win.

Ricci Rivero however showed that he is the future for Lasalle.

Coach Aldin Ayo also has his work cut out for him in developing another point guard outside of Aljun Melecio.

And what were those plays he was running? One or two passes, then a one on one move, or a quick shot.

Ateneo also got more steals, isn't Lasalle supposed to be the one unleashing mayhem on defense?

In any event, there is still the second round ahead of us, and these Archers can only get better.

10-09-2017, 08:41 AM
Blue Eagles squander big lead but recover to beat Archers and complete first-round sweep

From: Reuben Terrado

October 8, 2017, 06:25 pm

MATT Nieto made a crucial defensive stop, leading to two free throws with 3.9 seconds to play as Ateneo escaped with a 76-75 win over La Salle on Sunday to sweep the first round of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Nieto came up with a big deflection off an inbound pass by La Salle, which was protecting a one-point lead.

It led to Nieto getting fouled by a La Salle defender and he nailed two pressure-packed free throws to give Ateneo the lead.

On the last La Salle possession, Ben Mbala was unable to throw up a decent shot, allowing Ateneo to preseve its clean slate that now stands at 7-0 at the end of first round action.

Nieto finished with 16 points for the Blue Eagles, who led by as many as 14 points.

It was a stunning loss for La Salle, which had a 75-74 lead with 1:03 left in the fourth and forced a 24-second shotclock violation with only 7.8 seconds to play

Known for forcing turnovers, La Salle committed the critical miscue when Kib Montablo threw a lob to Andrei Caracut that was tapped by Nieto, who was fouled while attempting a shot.

"Actually, we were asking for better defense," said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

"Credit to the players that in the final minutes, they followed the defensive scheme that coach Tab (Baldwin) wants us to do especially when we came up with that steal by Matt."

Anton Asistio had 13 points, while Jolo Mendoza added 10 points as the two combined for seven of Ateneo's nine triples.

Despite falling behind big in the first two quarters, La Salle was able to bounce back in the third quarter. The Green Archers closed out that quarter with a Ben Mbala follow-up and a Jollo Go triple to get to within a point, 63-62.

The Green Archers took the lead with three minutes left in the fourth on a tip in by Abu Tratter, 73-71.

Ricci Rivero contributed 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Green Archers, who also got 18 points and 13 rebounds from Mbala.

La Salle ended the first round with a 5-2 record, tying Adamson for second place in the team standings.

The scores

Ateneo 76 - Ma. Nieto 16, Asistio 14, Mendoza 10, Ravena 9, Verano 6, Go 4, Tolentino 4, Mi. Nieto 4, Black 4, Mamuyac 3, Ikeh 2.

La Salle 75 - R. Rivero 19, Mbala 18, Go 11, P. Rivero 8, Caracut 5, Paraiso 5, Tratter 4, Montalbo 3, Santillan 2, Gonzales 0.

Quarterscores: 28-16; 43-36; 63-62; 76-75.

10-09-2017, 08:44 AM
Ben Mbala rues Archers' failure to stay focused in endgame: 'We just didn't play mature basketball'

From: Reuben Terrado

October 8, 2017, 08:30 pm

BEN Mbala says the Archers didn't play like themselves as they fell to their archrival Blue Eagles on Sunday to end the first round of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.

The Green Archers appeared on the verge of pulling off a win but made a big mistake in the endgame after Matt Nieto deflected an inbound pass that led to the third-year point guard nailing two free throws for the victory.

Mbala was very disappointed with the crucial miscue that resulted in their second loss in seven games.

"Despite the fact that we were able to get back in the game and get the lead, for the last few seconds of the game, we just didn't play mature basketball by turning the ball over and fouling them," Mbala said.

"We really played poorly and they got the last second shot. We paid the price. When it's Ateneo-La Salle, you can't afford to do things like that," Mbala said.

Mbala also said the Green Archers are not the defensive team that they used to be, and that was evident when Ateneo hit nine triples including seven in the first half.

"Ateneo was really hot. They made seven (threes) in the first half. We have to stick to our game plan and continue executing. That is why we were able to get back in the game."

Mbala added: "We are not a defensive-minded team we used to be last year. That's something that we need to change."

The good thing is that La Salle still has the time for adjustments as the Green Archers enter the second round with a 5-2 win-loss record.

"It's only the first round. There is still a lot of time to work on our chemistry especially on defense," said Mbala.

10-26-2017, 09:05 AM
Archers rip Warriors to stretch streak to four and secure spot in UAAP semis

From: Reuben Terrado October 25, 2017, 04:15 pm

LA Salle overwhelmed University of the East, 99-78, on Wednesday to notch its fourth consecutive win and clinch a Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Green Archers never trailed and led by as many as 27 points to hike their record to 9-2 and tightened their grip on second place behind unbeaten Ateneo.

The Green Archers are on their longest winning run of the season, while the Red Warriors suffered their eighth time loss in 11 matches.

Ben Mbala had 25 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks for the Green Archers, Santi Santillan added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Ricci Rivero and Justine Baltazar each scored 13.

Pasaol had another solid outing with 23 points, but way short of the 32-point performance against University of the Philippines on Sunday.

For most of the game, he had to take shots over the Mbala and ended up with an 8-of-19 field goal shooting.

La Salle was up 28-18 at the end of the first period and took a commanding 74-47 lead in the third quarter.

Although UE was able to cut the gap to 14 in the fourth period, La Salle kept its composure as the Archers responded with another run to take full control once again, sweeping its season series with the Red Warriors.

The scores:

La Salle 99 ? Mbala 25, Santillan 14, Ri. Rivero 13, Baltazar 13, Melecio 7, Tratter 6, Montalbo 5, P. Rivero 4, Caracut 3, Go 3, Gonzales 3, Paraiso 2, Tero 1, Capacio 0.

UE 78 ? Pasaol 23, Olayon 18, Derige 9, Varilla 8, Maloles 6, Acuno 6, Cullar 4, Bartolome 2, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Conner 0, Gagate 0.

Quarterscores: 28-18; 53-34; 77-55; 99-78.

10-26-2017, 09:10 AM
Ben Mbala feels he could've done better defensive job on prolific Alvin Pasaol

From: Reuben Terrado October 25, 2017, 08:28 pm

BEN Mbala said he was not satisfied with how he defended Alvin Pasaol in the La Salle's grudge match against University of the East on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.

Pasaol managed to score 23 this time after a 49-point performance in their first match, a huge cut but still a little too much as far as La Salle?s Cameroonian reinforcement is concerned.

"I felt like I could have done a better job," said Mbala. "But we got the W and that's fine with me."

Pasaol was guarded for much of the match by Mbala, who had also been assigned to smaller guys including Paul Desiderio of University of the Philippines.

The job against the burly Pasaol provided a unique challenge for the 6-foot-8 Mbala.

"Pasaol has no conscience. Even if he is wide open or not, he will take shots. You can't predict when he is going to attack or drive or shoot," said Mbala.

Mbala said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo told him to be on his toes against Pasaol, who made eight of his 19 shots from the field.

"Just stay in front and try your best to give him the harder shot you could give him," said Mbala.

Mbala, however, admitted he is getting the hang of guarding smaller guys thanks to his training in between games.

"It?s getting easier for me, I won't like. I've been practicing on my quickness and how to stay in front of smaller guys. It's really easy? It's getting easier and easier. My body is better because I've been running since coach told me to guard smaller guys."

"But I have a lot of things to work on," said Mbala.

11-20-2017, 08:31 AM
La Salle overcomes double-digit deficit to ground Adamson Falcons, book return to finals

From: Reuben Terrado November 18, 2017, 06:41 pm

LA Salle made up for a flat start with a big fourth-quarter run to beat Adamson, 82-75, on Saturday and book a return to the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament finals.

The second-seeded Green Archers went on a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter to wipe out a double-digit deficit and foil the Falcons' bid to send the Final Four match-up to a deciding game.

Instead, the Green Archers marched on to the finals where they will face the winner of the other semifinal match-up between Ateneo and Far Eastern University on Sunday, also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ben Mbala had 27 points and 14 rebounds while Santi Santillan finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Green Archers, who are bound for their 20th finals appearance since moving to the UAAP in 1986.

Ricci Rivero added 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks for the Green Archers, who turned a 54-63 deficit into a 68-63 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, however, had a lot to say about the officiating after the Falcons lost a 15-point lead in the game.

Pumaren was also heard shouting to the referees, "worst officiating" at the hallway area after the game.

Jerrick Ahanmisi had 17 points but was limited to three points in the final quarter due to the leech-like defense of Kib Montalbo.

Robbie Manalang added 16 points while Tyrus Hill had 10 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks for the third-seeded Adamson.

The scores:

La Salle 82 - Mbala 27, Santillan 15, Ri. Rivero 14, Melecio 7, Montalbo 5, Caracut 4, Tratter 3, Go 3, P. Rivero 2, Baltazar 2, Paraiso 0.

Adamson 75 - Ahanmisi 17, Manalang 16, Hill 10, Lojera 7, Sarr 6, Bernardo 6, Manganti 5, Espeleta 4, Pingoy 2, Zaldivar 2, Ochea 0.

Quarterscores: 11-21, 33-39, 54-63, 82-75.

11-20-2017, 08:32 AM
^ Just in case there was ever any doubt who the team to beat REALLY is in UAAP Season 80.

11-23-2017, 03:09 PM
Game 1 is this Saturday. If I were making book I'd probably give Ateneo a plus-4 or 4.5, because seriously, Benoit Mbala can just plain take over and dominate and there won't be a goddam thing anybody can do to stop him.

Sabi nga nung isang tropa ko after the Round 2 game, "Na-mamaw tayo ni Mbala," and he was of course absolutely right.

The Ateneo needs to not play the way it has in its last three games leading up to these Finals, kasi kung ganun ang ilalaro ng Blue Eagles, might as well iabot na lang ang trophy sa Green Archers.

Lasalle for its part can actually take it a little easy and just let Benoit be Benoit. Kasi habang may mga iniisip pang kung ano-anong gawin si Coach Ayo, dun pa nadadale ang team niya.

Seryoso, huwag na tayo maglokohan, let Benoit dominate and the back to back is all but guaranteed.

Try to get fancy and the Ateneo will surely find ways to hang in there, and might even pull the rug out from under the Archers.

11-24-2017, 09:11 AM
La Salle practices off limits as champs lock in on grudge match against Ateneo

From: Reuben Terrado November 23, 2017, 09:27 pm

LA Salle is taking no chances and keeping its preparations under wraps as the defending champion turned their attention to Ateneo ahead of the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball finals.

Inquiries regarding practice schedules of La Salle were left unanswered on Thursday, a day after the Blue Eagles beat Far Eastern University in overtime to earn a shot at the Green Archers in the finals.

Players have also been discouraged from granting interviews to mediamen, SPIN.ph has learned.

The Green Archers are determined to rule out any distractions ahead of the best-of-three finals against the Blue Eagles, who are out to avenge a loss to their longtime rivals in the title series last year.

In an interview after La Salle booked a finals seat with a win over Adamson, La Salle coach Aldin Ayo couldn't emphasize enough the value of focus.

"We are focused on a game plan especially on defense because when we were in the first round, there were a lot of distractions. Simple schemes on defense, sometimes we can't execute. We tend to gamble a lot, and we were very undisciplined when we were in the first round," he said.

"But it became different in the second round because they just surrendered to the system and overcome the distractions," said Ayo.

Ayo said it was easier to keep the Green Archers locked in as they got closer to their ultimate goal - a second straight title.

"Wala namang motivation kundi championship eh. 'Yun lang. Wala ng hugot o ano. Championship ang pinag-uusapan dun," said Ayo.

12-04-2017, 09:23 AM
You have the (back-to-back) MVP, arguably the best player ever in the history of the UAAP, and two out of the Season Mythical 5 are yours as well. Easily three or four of your guys are certain PBA First Round draft picks when their time comes in a couple years.

How do you lose a championship that was, well, yours to lose?

It may be time to fire your coach.


12-04-2017, 02:47 PM
Ben Mbala gracious in defeat; Ayo bares big man has one year left with La Salle

From: Christian Jacinto December 4, 2017, 01:40 pm

LOSING the title may be one bitter pill to swallow for reigning back-to-back MVP Ben Mbala, but the La Salle star knows that this is all a part of his journey in basketball.

The Cameroonian powerhouse gave all the credit to Ateneo for playing better as a team and sticking to its game plan as charged this loss to experience, not only for him but for the rest of the Green Archers.

"It has to be a learning experience for me. You can't just learn by winning. You can also learn by losing. This is a situation that you have to learn by losing and I take it as a man," Mbala said as he scored 17 points and 14 rebounds in their 88-86 loss to the Blue Eagles.

"I just told them (teammates) congrats. You gave your best. You won't always be a winner. Sometimes you just have to be on the side of the losers, unluckily, we were on the side of the losers," he added.

The 23-year-old big man rued his squad?s meltdown in the fourth quarter where he said they veered away from their game plan, losing their rhythm in the process.

"We didn't get to play our game. We didn't get to our games. We didn't have our rhythm. We just played within the flow and we took a lot of bad shots, turned the ball over when it was the most important."

He however was happy to finally get this heated series over with where he took his own share of criticism and negative comments from opposing fans.

While walking out of the dugout, Mbala was approached by several Ateneo fans asking for photos while also exchanging hugs with some Ateneo players.

For Mbala, that right there was the essence of this game.

"It?s a game after all, just not because it's Ateneo or La Salle you have to hate each other. After the game, we still have our lives and we have to keep going on with our lives."

Mbala still has a year of eligibility left and he said that he will talk to the school about his future plans.

His head coach in Aldin Ayo, however, is confident that Mbala will be back for his final year.

"He still has one year based on the ground rules of the UAAP. Ben still has one more year in the UAAP. He'll be here next year," said Ayo.

12-05-2017, 07:07 AM
From Tiebreaker Times ...

Aldin Ayo brushes off Tab Baldwin's admiration of his system

Published 3 hours ago on December 4, 2017 By Matthew Li

It took two years for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin to devise schemes and strategies to get past the De La Salle University Green Archers. And after nine tries, the well-traveled tactician was finally able to close out this chapter by outlasting the defending champions in three grueling yet epic games on Sunday evening.

"They never take the pressure off. You know, they're confident in their system - and that comes from Aldin [Ayo],? shared Baldwin, who has 35 years of experience under his belt. "They believe in their players, they believe in their system and they're just not gonna take their foot off your throat for one minute."

"I admire that so much."

After getting a chance to see and experience the holistic system that Ayo has developed last season, the former Gilas Pilipinas head coach shared that their physical training just to keep up with La Salle started as early as January. But even with this preparation, the Blue Eagles needed to dig deep in each of their five meetings this season.

"We had to rise to their level. They set the bar. So I have to congratulate them for that."

"Losing is always tough and I'm happy it's them not us but there's no lack of respect and admiration for who they are and what they did to get here, what they did today," beamed Baldwin.

"They fought back again. We had them down and again they fought back. You know, we had them down ten and then they cut it to I don't know, three or something, two?," he pointed out.

"They're champions, they're still champions. You can't take that away from them. But now, so are we."

Fresh off his first series loss in two years, Ayo shrugged off the kind words that the American-Kiwi mentor said about him and his system, saying it is all part of the build-up for next season.

"He?s playing mind games."

"Ganoon naman palagi eh. Ako naiintindihan ko naman because he's just competing. He's going to say nice things and those things are preparation for next year," the highly-competitive coach said.

"Everything that we say here to all of you, lahat 'yan may purpose, and that purpose is to compete," Ayo added. "Kung titignan mo 'yung motive, he's just competing. On our part, walang problema. We just want to compete."

This, however, stems from how other coaches perceive him, according to the youthful mentor. Aware of what his peers have been saying about him, Ayo feels like he is still undermined despite the accomplishments he has achieved.

"There are other coaches, they are trying to ridicule you, bully you," disclosed Ayo.

"I have one message to them, 'I forgive, I forgive, I forgive' because it's part of the competition naman. Since tapos na rin naman yung season, there?s a difference, basketball lang naman ito."

12-05-2017, 10:06 AM
Aldin Ayo admits 'unresolved issues' from championship season weighed down La Salle

From: Christian Jacinto December 4, 2017, 06:04 pm

LA SALLE head coach Aldin Ayo tipped his hat off to Ateneo for being the better team in the UAAP Season 80 Finals while admitting there were sensitive issues that the Green Archers never got to resolve for the duration of the season.

The Green Archers shrugged off a shaky start to the season and got as far as the finals, only to lose to the Blue Eagles in three close games.

"They played better than us. Obviously, they're the better team. I congratulate Ateneo, the players and the coaching staff," said Ayo while accepting the blame for 'unresolved issues' from the Green Archers' run to the championship last season.

"We were not able to handle very well our championship last season. I don't want to expound on that. Medyo maselan eh. We were not able to handle really well our championship. Worried ako how we started our season. Syempre, being the head coach, I'm accountable for everything that happened," he added.

Ayo said he is happy with how his team performed but rued how these issues manifested in the worst possible time - in the finals series against Ateneo.

"Of course, we're going to compete. We're going to play and squeeze everything sa abot ng makakaya namin. I want to compete, gusto namin manalo," Ayo continued.

"May mga sa preparations namin. There were problems na we were not able to resolve pagdating dito sa championship, lumabas."

Basically put in the hotseat for most of the season, Ayo says that he's leaving it all behind now that the UAAP season has ended.

He admitted going on a social media hiatus during the final stretch of the season but he still has a word for his critics: He forgives them and it's not his fault that he's at La Salle.

"Ang daming distractions. Social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, lahat. Mumurahin ka or kung ano-ano sasabihin sa 'yo, even my fellow coaches, kalaban mo rito, they're going to ridicule you. Some of the coaches, ibu-bully ka. I have one message to them: I forgive, I forgive, I forgive, because that's part of competition naman," Ayo said.

"Since tapos na naman yung season, it's all different. Basketball lang naman ito eh. 'Yung mga nagtatanim ng sama ng loob because of my job here, it's not my fault. 'Di ko naman kasalanan na kinuha ako ng La Salle. I'm grateful."

Asked about his message to his players after the defeat, the former NCAA and UAAP champion coach's message was pretty simple.

"I told them we pray very hard to win, but we have to pray harder everytime we lose. We just have to be grateful for the opportunity, the experience and make sure that we learn from this."

12-19-2017, 11:19 AM
Hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa din mawari papano natalo ang Lasalle sa Ateneo nito lang nakalipas na UAAP Finals.

Those of you who know me know I am an Atenean and I was of course rooting all the way for the Blue Eagles.

But those of you who know me better know that I am also a dyed-in the-wool basketball guy who tries as hard as he can to study the game love.

Anak ng tipaklong, there should have been no way Ateneo won over Lasalle. SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

Balikan natin ang Game 2, lamang ng 21 ang Ateneo nung first half, umalagwa bigla ang Lasalle, umabot ng 13 ang bawing lamang nila, and they won by seven.

Ganun ka-talented ang Lasalle, down 21, still won by seven.

Nung Game 1 Lasalle was down a much as 12, panalo Ateneo by six, on a clutch play by Thirdy Ravena and George Go in the last few seconds of that contest.

Nung Game 3 Ateneo was up 10 points in the payoff fourth period, naibaba ng Lasalle all the way down to two points at 82-80, at dito may halo na din sigurong buenas. Drive si Thirdy, spin, kick out pass kay George, high looper tres ni George ringless, 85-80. Ateneo won by two 88-86 kasi nakachamba pa pabandang tres ni Andrei Caracut.

So nung dikitan at pitpitan ng itlog hindi nakaporma ang team na may dalawang Mythical 5, kasama ang MVP. Pero nung tambak sila ng 21, somehow napihit pa nila into a 34-point turnaround.

Do those scenarios make sense?

Madaling sisihin ang youth nung dalawang inasahan ng Lasalle bukod kay super import Benoit Mbala, na sina Aljun Melecio at Ricci Rivero. They were the ones after all who made the bad decisions in Game 3 that turned the tide in favor of the Ateneo.

Pero teka, hindi ba coach na dapat ang magrenda sa kanila kung ganun? So ano ginawa nung coach nila?

Andun lang si Mbala, clear mismatch kahit sa high post kasi kayang-kaya niyang blow-by si George at si Ikeh.

Ano ginawa ni Coach Aldin Ayo? Pinilit pa din niya sa poste si Mbala kung saan mas madali siya i-trap ng depensa ng Ateneo.

Malas pa nila, kada kick out pass ni Mbala, tila minalas na sa pukol sina Melecio at Rivero.

In other words, there were plenty of things within the control of the Lasalle coaching team to still take that game and that back to back home to Taft. Inexplicably, they did none of those things.

Ganun lang ba kasimple 'yon?


So ano na pala dapat gawin ng Lasalle ngayon...?

12-22-2017, 11:12 AM

And that is that.

12-28-2017, 07:38 AM
Change of heart: Ayo leaves La Salle for UST

By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ INQUIRER.net / 02:08 PM December 27, 2017

Just a week after La Salle assured that its Green Archers "stand united as a team," coach Aldin Ayo bolted out of the squad to assume the head coaching post of the University of Santo Tomas.

Inquirer sources said the new chief backer of the UST men's basketball team - FMR Corporation, a bus company whose owners have strong links to the Dominicans in both UST and Letran - spearheaded Ayo's transfer to UST.

Ayo had earlier reaffirmed his commitment with La Salle as team officials also said that the Archers "stand united as a team to regroup and regain the crown next season" after bowing to rival Ateneo in the UAAP this month.

But sources close to the situation disclosed that Ayo had a change of heart and tendered his resignation Tuesday night. La Salle deputy Louie Gonzales will serve as interim coach.

The Archers will have to pick up the pieces left by Ayo's departure as well as two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, who opted to turn pro in Mexico.

Ayo, who won championships with Letran in the NCAA and La Salle in the UAAP, had been rumored to mentor a third varsity school in Manila in five years even during the Archers' Season 80 campaign.

In his two years with the Archers, he amassed a 30-5 record. In contrast, the Growling Tigers only registered a 4-24 slate the past two seasons.

Clearly, Ayo's job will be a lot harder in Espana as he will be tasked to rebuild a squad which is coming off its worst UAAP record of 1-13 under Boy Sablan.

UST will still have Marvin Lee, Jordan Sta. Ana and Cameroonian big man Steve Akomo, and the returning duo of Renzo Subido and Mario Bonleon.