Published on October 3rd, 2018 | by Gabriel Minamedez0
Melecio, Baltazar propel La Salle past UST
Behind big games from their stars, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers unloaded their frustrations from the last game to crush the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 99-72, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A trio of factors went La Salle’s way: defense, rebounding, and three-point shooting en route to the blowout win. The Archers were all over the stat sheet from the opening tip, as they wildly outrebounded UST, 55-40. Shooting from beyond the arc was the cherry on top, in which DLSU shot 53% from that area. Aside from that, La Salle also forced UST to shoot at a measly 31%.
The game began right away in La Salle’s favor, with a combined 11 points to start from Aljun Melecio and Justine Baltazar had the Archers jump right into a 13-2 lead. The duo of Melecio and Baltazar started strong as they combined for 18 first quarter points to bury UST early, 28-13.
DLSU retained their level of intensity in the second frame, this time with more of the cast chipping in points of their own with bench reliables Brandon Bates, Santi Santillan, and Jollo Go entering the offensive fray. Three-point shooting also started to click for DLSU, with Go hitting a trio of deep bombs to balloon La Salle’s lead to 20, 54-34.
The second half was simply a formality for the Taft-based squad, with the lead even going up as big as 31 points. The Growling Tigers just failed to match La Salle’s firepower that afternoon.
Justine Baltazar topscored for the Green and White with 22 points and also added 10 rebounds. Aljun Melecio poured in 19 points and 8 rebounds. Jollo Go added 11 points, including a perfect 3/3 clip from downtown. Andrei Caracut, Encho Serrano, and Santi Santillan also combined for 34 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, UST was headlined by guard Renzo Subido with 16 points. Veterans Marvin Lee and Zach Huang had 13 apiece, and top rookie CJ Cansino was limited to only 7 points on 3/10 shooting.
Aside from elevating La Salle’s record to 3-2, the game also marked the first time DLSU met former and UAAP Season 79 Champion head coach Aldin Ayo since their turbulent offseason.
La Salle looks to build from the much-needed momentum as they face rivals and defending champions Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles on Saturday, October 6 at the MOA Arena.