Struggling to get their offensive rhythm going in the first three quarters, the Green Archers managed to find the mark in the final frame to upend a gutsy NU squad 73-66 yesterday.
The ever-improving Justine Baltazar finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds to go along with 2 shot blocks. Santi Santillan scored 16 and grabbed 12 boards.
The game was pretty much close. After a tied first half, La Salle started strong scoring 5 quick points. Just when it appeared the team is going to pull away for good, the Bulldogs fought back and eventually led by four heading into the fourth quarter.
With their defense amped-up and their offense finally clicking, the Green Archers were able to build a six-point advantage with 2 minutes left in the contest.
Misfiring all-game long, Aljun Melecio delivered at the right time, scoring 2 big baskets from the outside to ignite the comeback trail. The team outscored the Bulldogs 27-16 in the payoff period.
Even if his top-gunner had started sluggishly, La Salle head coach Louie Gonzales still commended him for setting the table for the Archers and keeping everyone involved.
“Aljun is still Aljun, hindi ko naman tatanggalin sa bata ‘yun eh. What’s good with the kid, ‘yung mga misses niya those are hindi niya rhythm eh, hindi pa niya nakukuha ‘yung rhythm kasi mas maganda doon sa bata na ‘yun, pinipilit niya to make everybody involved,” he said.
With a 7-1 record in Group A, the Green Archers are already assured of a seat in the quarterfinals. But of course, we can expect them to go all out tomorrow as they face undefeated Ateneo. The Blue Eagles have lately been thrashing their opponents in all the preseason tournaments they are participating in so it is going to be interesting to see if La Salle will be the team that will finally bring them down.
DLSU 73 – Baltazar 19, Santillan 16, Melecio 10, Samuel 8, D Lim 6, Capacio 5, Dyke 4, Caracut 3, Go 2, Manuel 0, Bates 0.
NU 66 – Clemente 16, D Ildefonso 10, Gallego 7, S Ildefonso 6, Aquino 6, Galinato 5, Aquino 5, Yu 4, Joson 2, Gaye 2, Mangayom 2, Tibayan 1, Mosqueda 0, Diputado 0, Salim 0.
Quarter Scores: 15-14, 34-34, 46-50, 73-66.
Using their main roster, the Green Archers demolished NU in Milcu tournament action last Friday for their fourth straight win.
DLSU 76 – Samuel 15, Dyke 12, Santillan 11, Melecio 7, Manuel 7, Bates 6, Corteza 4, Go 3, Caracut 2, Lim 2, Tolentino 2, Capacio 0, Manaytay 0, Pastor 0, Alcala 0
NU 45 – Flores 10, Atienza 9, Malonzo 7, Minerva 6, Salim 6, Sistoza 3, Penano 2, Puray 2
Quarter Scores: 19-13, 35-21, 63-34, 76-45