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UAAP: Can DLSU sustain patented ‘Mayhem Defense’ in game 3?

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By Ernest Hernandez

Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena, front, is bumped from behind by De La Salle’s Ben Mbala in the first half of Game 2 of the UAAP Finals last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. No fouls were called, Ravena crashes to the floor and gets whistled for a traveling violation instead. La Salle won, 92-83, to extend the series to a deciding third game. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena, front, is bumped from behind by De La Salle’s Ben Mbala in the first half of Game 2 of the UAAP Finals last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. No fouls were called, Ravena crashes to the floor and gets whistled for a traveling violation instead. La Salle won, 92-83, to extend the series to a deciding third game. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

The De La Salle University Green Archers lived to fight another day, completing a comeback against the Ateneo Blue Eagles during Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Finals. The deciding match will go down tomorrow, Dec. 3, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

For back-to-back UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, they forgot who they were and left their trademark “mayhem defense” in the first quarter.

“I feel like we lack aggressiveness and intensity on defense,” said Mbala

“We were not able to get to our “Mayhem” defense in game one. During the second quarter of game 2 and all throughout the third, we were able to bring it back force them into turnovers.”

Aware that they may end up throwing away all that they worked for this UAAP Season 80, the Cameroonian turned it on by leading the team with his aggressiveness off the offensive boards.

“I feel like we were just more aggressive and I was going for offensive rebounds. If I’m not mistaken I had like 6 or 8 points off offensive rebounds,” said Mbala.

“That’s what I was doing the whole game because I knew they were not giving me the one on one post-ups. So I was just giving the ball to the wide open guy and going for the offensive rebounds.”

Mbala finished with 16 rebounds on top of his 20 points. Six of those caroms came from the offensive glass. Triggering the team’s competitiveness, everyone listened to each other and slowly clawed back to regain the lead.

“We had better communication. If you noticed, every time I had an isolation, I was always asking them to play out because I knew their guy would stay in there and I was always able to kick the ball out to the open guy.”

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