La Salle overpowered Ateneo with its baffling defense and gained victory with 92-77 at Filoil Flying V Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan yesterday. Now La Salle will battle against Arellano U for the final crown in the same venue at 4.PM.
There was a scintillating performance by Thomas Torres that shot 17 points for La Salle followed by Cameroonian behemoth Mbala managed 16 markers, however Jeron Teng remained scoreless. Teng was responsible for last 15 minutes action after modifying an ankle in the previous game. However, the dazzling duo Torrer and Mbala accounted for 32 and 28 points in the Archers, defeating Far Eastern U Tams with 91-71 in the quarters.
Not to forget other veterans, Aljun Melecio, Abu Tratter and Andrei Caracut who brought 15, 14, 13 points to the team, respectively. La Salle, in the tournament is the last unbeaten team with 9-0 records. Stopping such a rush team will be difficult for Arellano U Chiefs who entered the finals with 7-2 records.
La Salle Coach Aldin Ayo who trained the team to become full court press for all games said –
“It’s definitely a good test for us where we are right now as a team and in terms of how the team has embraced the system,”
Last year, La Salle who lost finals when battling against San Beda are now looking to make finest performance led by Jio Jalalon. Chiefs meanwhile are also seeking to grab 3rd NCAA title by winning this game by giving their best. If Chiefs want to earn the crown, the team will need all hands, including center Dioncee Holts who is currently out since 3 days. Backcourt trio of Jiovani Jalalon, Donald Gumaru and Salado are sufficient to lead the game still shooter Zach Nicholls also need to focus.