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Mbala laments La Salle's poor execution in crunch time

MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University was just nine seconds away from handing archrival Ateneo de Manila University its first loss of the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament on Sunday, only for everything to fall apart for the Green Archers.

Two free throws by star center Ben Mbala gave the defending champions a 75-74 lead, and a strong defensive stand capped by a Ricci Rivero block on Thirdy Ravena all but assured the Green Archers of the win.

La Salle's Ben Mbala is comforted by Prince Rivero after their loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
They just needed to get the ball inbound, hold on to it, and then ice the game at the free throw line.

But nothing went according to La Salle's plan. With every other option well covered, La Salle captain Kib Montalbo lofted a lob to Andrei Caracut that was tapped by Ateneo's Matt Nieto. In the ensuing scramble, Nieto came up with the ball, forcing Montalbo to foul him.

With just 3.9 seconds left, Nieto calmly sank the go-ahead free throws. The Blue Eagles smothered Mbala in the final possession, sealing the victory and handing La Salle its second loss of the season.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/10/09/17/mbala-laments-la-salles-poor-execution-in-crunch-time

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