Earlier today, the DLSU Green Archers came away with a victory over the UST Growling Tigers, 99-72, at the Mall of Asia Arena. With the win, the team from Taft improved their win-loss standing to 3-2, while the team from España now sport a 1-4 record.
Justine Baltazar led the Green Archers after posting 22 points,10 rebounds, and three blocks in the victory. Aljun Melecio scored 19 points off the La Salle bench and added eight rebounds. Andrei Caracut also chipped in 13 points, four assists, and four rebounds for La Salle. In addition, Santi Santillan and Justine Baltazar were the only other DLSU players who scored in double figures, finishing with 11 points each.
In the losing effort of the Growling Tigers, Henri Subido recorded 16 points, while Dean Lee and Zachary Huang added 13 points each to their team’s tally.
Facing their former coach, Aldin Ayo, Melecio stated that the team did not take this into consideration as they entered the match, “It’s not really about playing against coach Aldin, it’s about bouncing back from our loss against UP. Yun naman yung focus namin talaga.”
La Salle sets the tone early
Mark Dyke opened the game strong, converting a putback for DLSU, while Melecio followed suit with a running layup. At the 6:31 mark of the first period, Caunan scored the first field goal for UST through a jumper. As the two teams looked to outpace one another with tough defense, La Salle capitalized on strategic offense to convert successful baskets. The Taft-based squad capped off their 13-2 run with a fastbreak layup from Baltazar at the 4:41 mark. Marcos and Subido took turns in keeping the score within reach for the Growling Tigers, scoring off a three-pointer and a jumper, respectively. With 15 seconds to go, Bates makes a layup to close the first period in favor of La Salle, 28-13.
The second period began with La Salle in the lead as Melecio scored off a midrange jumper. Although, as early as the 9:13 mark of the quarter, Lee was quick to follow up with a three-pointer for UST. DLSU got its biggest lead in the first half when Baltazar converted a putback in the 8:09 mark of the period, 36-16. The Lasallians extended their momentum in the second period, maximizing the same strategic offense they utilized in the first period.
The duo of Melecio and Go paced the Green-and-White during the second period, scoring back-to-back three-pointers. The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, were banking on the efforts of Caunan and Cansino who made layups throughout the period. Although, it was not enough for the team to make a comeback as the Green Archers secured their lead as they concluded the second quarter with a commanding 54-34 over the team from España.
At the end of the first half, the Growling Tigers made seven out of eight baskets in the free throw line compared to the Green Archers who only managed 11 out of 18. Although they were not as consistent as UST in free throws, DLSU shot at 83 percent from the three-point field goal in the first half, only missing one out of their six attempts.
Keeping up with the pace
As expected from the game, the two teams continued to butt heads with one another even at the beginning of the third period. With only five seconds into the quarter, Jollo Go committed a personal foul on UST’s Zachary Huang, and not a minute after, another foul was called on Go against Kenneth Zamora.
The Lasallians were only able to score after a minute in a half, courtesy of Baltazar in the charity stripe, after getting fouled by Enrique Caunan Jr. The teams had difficulty scoring due to the intense defense coming from both sides. Nonetheless, the Green-and-White continued trading baskets with their opponent as both schools scored 17 points each at the end of the third quarter, 71-51.
At the last period of the second half, Santillan shed first blood with a jump shot to widen the lead at 22 points. Nonetheless, with the continuous effort of Huang, he was able to cut the deficit to 17.
Similar to the third quarter, various turnovers were seen—this time coming from the Growling Tigers. This was beneficial to the Green Archers as they were able to further their lead to 26 points with only five minutes left in the game. DLSU led by Caracut, finished strong until the very end. Despite the unsportsmanlike foul of Miguel Cortez with three seconds left, the Lasallians finished the game with a win at 99-72.
Coach Louie Gonzales was satisfied with today’s game against the Growling Tigers and DLSU’s former head coach Aldin Ayo. He stated that this is a game that they needed, not only to improve the standing of the team, but to also boost the confidence of his players, “That’s the primary game plan for today. To play 40 minutes na composed, we play 40 minutes sa highest level, and good thing sa laro ngayon everybody contributed, everybody played in the highest level.”
The Green Archers will try to continue their winning ways as they face their archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles this Saturday, October 6, at 4 pm in the Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 99 – , Baltazar 22, Melecio 19, Caracut 13, Santillan 11, Go 11, Serrano 10, Bates 6, Manuel 5, Dyke 2, Capacio, Corteza 0
UST 72 – Subido 16, Lee 13, Huang 13, Caunan 8, Cansino 7, Consejo 5, Marcos 3, Bataller 3, Mahinay 2, Zamora 2, Agustin 0, Ando 0
Quarter scores: 28-13, 54-34, 71-51, 99-72