It was a legitimate test and La Salle passed it with flying colors.
With star wingman Jeron Teng doing what he does best down the stretch, the Green Archers foiled NU, 75-66, on Sunday to sustain its imperious start in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Slowed down by foul woes, the 6-foot-2 Teng came up big just when he was needed the most, banging in 8 of his 23 points in La Salle’s 21-9 closeout that took the wind out of the erstwhile unscathed Bulldogs.
Teng, coming off the bench for the second straight time, made 11 of 15 shots while Ricci Rivero and Abu Tratter provided spark, energy and 12 points and 9 rebounds for the Taft cagers.
Highly-touted Ben Mbala endured a foul-plagued night, but still wounded up with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 2 steals.
NU proved a tough nut to crack majority of the way and even enjoyed a 52-43 cushion late in the third, only to run out of steam in the stretch.
The Bulldogs dropped to 2-1. — By Jerome Lagunzad