Bandera (Mindanao) - - NEWS -

WHAT was expected to be a rough patch for La Salle—without reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala—has turned into a showcase of its depth and firepower.

And with Mbala suiting up against Adamson on Wednesday, the defending champions could be more potent than ever from now on in UAAP Season 80.

“We’re on this level but when Ben (Mbala) arrives, we will just raise our game with him,” said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, after the Green Archers once again brandished their explosive offensive arsenal in hacking out a thrilling 115-109 victory over the National University Bulldogs Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

And that’s just bad news for the rest of the league.

Pushed into a fast and frenetic game by the Bulldogs, the Archers proved more than equal to the challenge, before turning to brothers Ricci and Prince Rivero down the stretch to get the job done and tie fierce rival Ateneo on top.

Later, Adamson, getting solid games from Robbie Manalang and Kurt Lojera, warmed up for the duel against La Salle by holding off University of Santo Tomas, 88-81.

“We were a different team compared to our last game,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, whose team had 16 steals.

The Tigers, who committed a season-high 41 turnovers, fell to their second straight loss.

Struggling with just two points in the 95-90 victory over Far Eastern U in the season opener, Ricci Rivero bounced back with 21 points. Ricci set up older brother Prince for a layup for a 112-107 advantage with 25.8 seconds remaining. —


JOCKEY Ryan Garcia riding his horse Yoshiko won 1st place during the PCSO-Bandera-Cup at the Metro Manila Turf Club Racing Complex at Malvar, Batangas.

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