De La Salle got a win in its first game under a new regime.
The Green Archers will figure for one of two final slots in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League after defeating Mapua Institute of Technology, 56-51, Wednesday at the Fil Oil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
It was the Green Archers’ first game under new coach Gee Abanilla. But Abanilla sat behind the bench with assistant coach Tyrone Bautista calling the shots for the team.
“We only had six formal practices so it’s better if coach Tyrone will handle the team in this tournament,” Abanilla said.
“We are really putting up a new system and it will take some time. But I think the enthusiasm of the players were great.”
The Green Archers will face Men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (MNCAA) champion Centro Escolar University on Thursday for a berth in the final 16 of the tournament, which is set to begin on November 19.
The Scorpions defeated University and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (UCLAA) titlist St. Francis of Assisi College, 68-50, for the right to play for the slot.
Luigi Dela Paz led the Green Archers’ balanced scoring attack with 11 points including a go-ahead triple in the fourth that strengthen their winning bid in the game.
Dela Paz nailed a corner triple from the left side to break a 48-all deadlock with less than seven minutes to play in the game.
Yousef Taha, who scored a game-high 18 points, hit a jumper and Jumel Chien split his free throws to tie the game again but the Cardinals, who missed Allan Mangahas and NCAA Rookie of the Year Josan Nimes in the game, never scored again.
Papot Paredes scored the marginal basket with 3:03 left in the contest while Almond Vosotros converted a free throw with 19.1 seconds left in the game. LA Revilla knocked down two free throws with 0.1 seconds in the game to settle the count.
Chris Dumapig had 11 points, John Paul Magbitang and Mark Parale had 10 points each for the Scorpions.
The DLSU-CEU match is set on Thursday at 4 p.m.
In the first game, the National University Bulldogs goes up against National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) champion University of Manila Hawks at 2 p.m.