National University and De La Salle outclassed separate foes Saturday to move into the next round of the 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) National Championship.
The Bulldogs upended University of Northern Philippines, 96-51, while the Green Archers downed University of Batangas, 78-55, in matches held at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
NU will face Jose Rizal University while La Salle takes on University of Santo Tomas on Monday in the stepladder phase of the tournament en route to the Final Four where UAAP champion Ateneo and NCAA titlist San Beda are already waiting.
Emmanuel Mbe had 23 points, Reden Celda had 19 points and Robin Rono added 11 markers as the Bulldogs outmuscled UNP to gain entry in the next phase.
Joshua Webb and Norbert Torres each had 15 points for the Green Archers.
The Bulldogs missed six players including UAAP Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks, who iscampaigning for Sinag Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia. But they nevertheless had enough firepower to beat the North/Central Luzon leg winner UNP.
“We are playing better now because we are a little relaxed unlike in the UAAP where there is a lot of pressure,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Jacklord Arquero had a team-high 16 points for the UNP Sharks.