LA SALLE is back in the Finals but coach Aldin Ayo was extremely disappointed over the effort of his troops against Adamson.
The Green Archers overcame a tough Falcons challenge to carve out a 69-64 win in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Three assists, 26 turnovers, that’s a cause for concern,” said Ayo.
“They (Adamson) played excellent defense. Taking care of the small details and they were pressuring the ballhandlers and that’s why we had a hard time crossing the basketball in the midcourt. Kinakain yung oras sa shotclock kaya nahirapan kaming mag-execute.”
Jeron Teng was solid for La Salle, tossing in 11 of his 25 points in the payoff period, including a key jumper and two insurance free throws in the final 2:23.
“We wanted to win this badly and we don’t want to prolong it anymore,” said Teng.
“You for your main man and you go for sa gustong manalo,” said Ayo.
The consensus title favorite, Ayo is simply worried on the Archers’ effort, especially in the first half.
“We were not executing our game plan. Nakaka-bad trip. Very unfortunate for us na mangyayari ito sa Final Four,” said Ayo. “Latter part of the season, ang dami pa naming kailangang i-improve.”
La Salle will face the winner of this Saturday’s semifinals duel between No. 2 Ateneo and defending champion Far Eastern University on Saturday at the same Pasay venue.
The twice-to-beat Blue Eagles need only to win to dethrone the Tamaraws and force a best-of-three title duel with the Archers which last took place in 2008.
“I believe in the saying that be careful of what you wish for. I don’t care if FEU or Ateneo, bahala na sila na magpatayan sa next game nila,” said Ayo.
Cameroonian center Ben Mbala, soon-to-be named MVP, added 21 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for La Salle.
Despite the loss, the Falcons have overachieved under coach Franz Pumaren.
“Ang laking ang na-improve dahil sa sistema. They deserve in the Final Four,” said Ayo of Adamson.
Sean Maganti led the Falcons with 13 points, Rob Manalang added 12 points while Papi Sarr had 11 points and seven boards.
DLSU (69) – Teng 25, Mbala 21, Torres 6, Melecio 6, Tratter 4, Montalbo 3, Rivero P. 2, Rivero R. 2, Caracut 0, Paraiso 0, Perkins 0.
AdU (64) – Manganti 13, Manalang 12, Sarr 11, Ahanmisi 9, Espeleta 9, Ochea 5, Tungcab 3, Bernardo 2, Mustre 0, Paranada 0, Camacho 0, Barrera 0, Chua 0, Ng 0.