In another close fight against the gritty NU Bulldogs, La Salle proved once yet again to be the steadier team down the stretch as they prevailed 84-77 to notch their eighth win in the tournament.
More importantly, the victory earns them a playoff berth for a place in the final four. With 2 games left in their elimination round schedule, they can avoid any possible complications with another win or a loss from either UP or FEU.
Just like in their first round matchup, it was a nip and tuck affair for both squads. La Salle had a strong start in this game but early foul trouble on Brandon Bates along with a couple of technical fouls called on them for “faking a foul” killed their momentum thus allowing NU to stay close and take a 2 point lead at the half.
Santi Santillan cannot be stopped inside as he drops 1️⃣8️⃣ points in that crucial DLSU win. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/gWJYTqFVBB
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 7, 2018
The Green Archers regained control of the match midway in the third period but are unable to pull away as NU refused to give up.
Just up by a point with under three minutes left in the game, La Salle went on a 9-1 run, highlighted by a clutch triple by Joaqui Manuel to seal the win and formally eliminate the Bulldogs from contention.
Five Green Archers finished with double figures in points with Santi Santillan leading the way with 18 followed by Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut with 13 each.
La Salle will next face Ateneo this coming Sunday.
DLSU (84) – Santillan 18, Melecio 13, Caracut 13, Baltazar 11, Manuel 10, Dyke 6, Go 6, Bates 4, Serrano 3, Capacio 0, Corteza 0.
NU (77) – Ildefonso D. 20, Clemente 19, Gallego 7, Yu 7, Ildefonso S. 5, Rike 4, Gaye 4, Joson 4, Sinclair 3, Diputado 2, Malonzo 2, Aquino 0, Galinato 0, Morido 0, Salim 0.
Quarterscores: 17-13, 38-40, 65-62, 84-77