by Bryle Suralta

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(Photo from Interaksyon TV)

Archers survive their toughest game of the season after beating the Falcons, 86-79, last Sunday, October 9 in the 79th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) at the Mall of Asia Arena.

La Salle has dominated the tournament so far by racking up eight victories overall, including a hard-nosed battle against the Falcons.

UAAP MVP candidate Ben Mbala led the way for La Salle as he scored 18 points, cleared 10 rebounds, and four blocks.

Archer Rookies Ricci Rivero an Aljun Melecio also put on a solid outing. Rivero ended the game with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Melecio put up 11 points on three of nine shooting from beyond the arc.

For Adamson, the team trailed as many as 17 points in the contest.

Adamson standout Jerrick Ahanmisi had a field day by scoring 27 points in the contest while spearheading a 9-0 run to pull closer to the Archers midway in the fourth quarter.

Going into the closing seconds, La Salle only led by only two points, 81-79, with just 1:26 left in the final quarter.

But it was Kib Montalbo who kept the Falcons at bay by hitting a triple to give the Archers a five-point cushion which ultimately sealed the game.

La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo talked to Spin.PH about the streak and the win.

“Even ganun ‘yung sitwasyon, hindi kami aalis sa sistema namin. Gusto naming lagi ‘yung ganung pace,” said Ayo.

“’Yung mga ganung kalseng laro, gusto naming ipasok ‘yung spontaneous ng mga bata na as much as possible, we allow them to play basketball, make decisions, and go with the flow.”

La Salle has continued its hot streak and is now considered the heavy favorites for the crown, even as Archer star Jeron Teng sat out for the second straight game.

The Falcons fall to 4-4 in the tourney.

The Scores: LA SALLE 86 – Mbala 18, Rivero 14, Melecio 11, Torres 9, Montalbo 8, Tratter 7, Perkins 5, Caracut 4, Baltazar 4, Paraiso 2, Dyke 2, Sargent 2, Go 0. ADAMSON 79 – Ahanmisi 27, Sarr 13, Manganti 12, Espeleta 9, Bernardo 6, Manalang 3, Ochea 3, Mustre 3, Ng 3, Paranada 0, Camacho 0, Pasturan 0, Ballon 0, Tungcab 0, Barrera 0, Chua 0.

Quarterscores: 17-19, 44-33, 66-55, 86-79.

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