THE De La Salle University Green Archers remained unbeaten in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup after they handed their bitter rivals Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles a 72-59 beatdown on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Evan Nelle took charge to help the Green Archers grab their eighth win in as many games in Group II. The speedy guard had 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds, while Joshua David contributed 11 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench as they sent their foes down 0-3.

“It really doesn’t make us UAAP champion by going 8-0 and beating Ateneo. It doesn’t mean anything,” said head coach Topex Robinson. “But it’s always good to see our team put on the floor what we prepared for.”

From a tied tally of 26-all late in the second quarter, Nelle fueled a 17-6 drive that propelled La Salle in front, 43-32, at the 6:46 mark of the third period. The Blue Eagles could only come as close as 13, 52-65, with five minutes remaining only to see David fire all but two points in a 7-0 counter for a 72-52 advantage in the Green Archers’ favor.

Mark Nonoy chimed in with 11 points and six rebounds and Kevin Quiambao chipped in 11 points and six rebounds of his own, as La Salle claimed the first quarterfinal slot in the premiere preseason tournament. The team now sets its sights on second-running St. Clare College of Caloocan (4-1), the last team standing in its way of a sweep of the group phase, on Wednesday, May 31. / JNP