(Photo by Kiana Carlos) The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers survived a late scare from the National University (NU) Bulldogs to clinch their first win of their UAAP Season 82 campaign, 83-82, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Eager to make a difference from their last outing, the Green Archers hopped on to a strong start in the opening quarter. Everything went well on both ends as the Taft-based squad connected their shots and created stops. A triple by Justine Baltazar forced an early 11-point lead, 17-6, as La Salle led NU at the end of the first canto, 22-12.
In what seemed to be a development of another second quarter fiasco, it was a nightmare start for the Green Archers, who committed one turnover after another. On the other hand, the Bulldogs cut their deficit to as small as five, 21-26. However, Baltazar had other plans. The fourth year center erupted for a personal 7-0 run to restore order and halt NU’s offensive strike. La Salle’s ball movement worked wonders and eventually led to a 10-point spread, 42-32, at the end of the first half.
It was Malonzo time in the third canto. After failing to strike a score across his name, Jamie Malonzo announced his presence scoring, dishing out passes, and defending for the Green Archers. La Salle kept a double-digit cushion, 67-57, after the third frame and entering the final period.
The Green-and-White cooled off in the fourth quarter as a three-minute scoring drought gave the Blue-and-Gold a window to catch up. An aggressive 16-4 run by the Jhocson-based squad saw the Bulldogs knocking at all doors in Taft. Shaun Ildefonso knocked down a three to cut La Salle’s deficit to five, 76-81. The Bulldogs’ team captain made the Green Archers pay with another triple that gave them an 82-81 lead following back-to-back errors by Joel Cagulangan. With less than 15 ticks in the game, Aljun Melecio found a sliding Kurt Lojera who buried a cold-blooded jumper that proved to be the winner for their team, 83-82.
The DLSU Green Archers (1-1) look to build their first winning streak of the season as they face the UE Red Warriors on Saturday, September 14, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU (83) – Baltazar 23, Malonzo 14, Melecio 10, Caracut 7, Lojera 6, Meeker 6, Serrano 6, Bates 4, Pado 4, Cagulangan 3
NU (82) – S. Ildefonso 26, Clemente 19, Gallego 12, Gaye 11, D. Ildefonso 8, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Mosqueda 2