6 October 2019
By Maxine Louise Lagman
MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle University imposed their will against the National University once again for an 85-61 win at the start of the second round of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the win, the Green Archers improved to a 4-4 slate, tied with University of Santo Tomas at third place, along with Far Eastern University, who defeated University of the Philippines in the afternoon game.
“It’s a great win for our team,” said La Salle’s active consultant Jermaine Byrd. “We’re approaching the second round as though every game is a playoff game, and today was the first one.”
La Salle outscored NU from the get-go, with an early 26-9 lead in the first quarter. The Bulldogs never recovered in the first half and continued to trail behind a 20-point deficit 44-24.
NU’s John Lloyd Clemente knocked down a basket to cut the deficit to 13, 65-52, but it was not enough as the Green Archers only kept answering back with their own baskets.
Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut’s three-pointers in the payoff period sparked a 14-2 run that gave La Salle its biggest lead, 69-54, three minutes left in the game.
“It’s just a good win for us, especially because we want good momentum heading into Sunday’s game (against Ateneo de Manila University),” said La Salle head coach Gian Nazario.
Justine Baltazar topped La Salle with a double-double record of 25 points and 25 rebounds, along with two blocks, and two assists. Caracut added 16 markers, six boards, and five assists.
On the other hand, Dave Ildefonso paced NU with 11 points, and his brother Shaun chipped in 10 markers as they absorbed their second straight loss to drop to a 1-7 slate.
LA SALLE 85 – Baltazar 25, Caracut 16, Malonzo 12, Lojera 9, Serrano 8, Melecio 6, Bates 4, Manuel 4, Hill 1, Bartlett 0, Escandor 0, Lim 0
NU 61 – Ildefonso D 11, Ildefonso S 10, Diputado 8, Gallego 7, Clemente 5, Galinato 5, Gaye 5, Tibayan 3, Yu 3, Mangayao 2, Minerva 2, Joson 0, Malonzo 0, Oczon 0
Quarter scores: 26-9, 44-24, 65-48- 85-61.
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