MANILA, Philippines — La Salle outlasted a pesky Lyceum squad Friday, 70-64, to keep its unbeaten slate at the 2013 Filoil Flying V Hanes Cup at the Arena in San Juan City.
After coming off back-to-back blowout wins, the Green Archers were slowed down by the highly-physical Pirates which head coach Gee Abanilla admitted they didn’t prepare for enough.
“We did not prepare mentally. This team, they’re very different, they’re fighters,” said Abanilla. “From the start, it was really physical. We can learn from this.”
With 3:30 left in the game, the physicality went up a notch when Lyceum’s Jeremiah Taladua gave La Salle’s Gab Reyes a hard foul in a fastbreak attempt.
Reyes fell down hard on the floor, and then the burly Norbert Torres reacted by shoving Taladua — causing the players from the bench from both sides to hurry down to the court to defend their teammates.
Six players were thrown out for entering the playing court namely: John Azores, Shaq Alanes, and Wilson Baltazar from Lyceum and Arnold Van Opstal, Mat Salem and Robert Bolick from La Salle.
But when the dust settled, the Green Archers still had the upper hand and leaned on their freethrows — which buoyed them the entire game — to put the Pirates away for good.
Jeron Teng, who was one of the cooler heads during the commotion, paced La Salle with 19 points while Torres added 10 markers and nine boards.
La Salle, which is now at 4-0, went to the stripe 56 times — making 37 attempts — while Lyceum, still winless at 0-3, only went 13-of-18.
Diminutive guards Dexter Zamora and Tirso Lesmoras led the Pirates with 18 and 15 points, respectively.