DLSU Green Archers def. UST Growling Tigers 99-72
Monster Justine Baltazar (22 career high points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, +21)
Justine Baltazar made the most of the absence of any UST big by virtually abusing the Growling Tigers inside the paint. Baltazar was unstoppable down low and undeniable on the offensive glass. Another double-double night for Baltazar who continues to sizzle in this breakout season.
Aljun Melecio (19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, +20)
Melecio waxed hot in the quarter that mattered the most; the first. Going to town on repeated press breaks and pulling up for the 3 ball, the former DLSZ sensation destroyed the UST defense in the early going pouring in 17 points all in the first half.
Joaqui Manuel (5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, +20)
You don’t need to rule the stats to be dominant. A surprise insertion to the starting five, Joaqui Manuel was all over the floor and played splendid defense on UST super rookie CJ Cansino.
Leonard Santillan (11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks, +10)
Santi Santillan was stellar on both ends of the floor. His help defense on Cansino was one of the main reasons why UST just could not claw back into the game.
- No Steve Akomo was a BIG PROBLEM for the Growling Tigers. La Salle bullied UST all throughout the game and outscored the Tigers 46-30 inside the paint with a 55-40 difference in rebounds. Moreover, La Salle put UST to bed as early as the first half building 20 point leads by doing a great job protecting the glass.
- Finally, a team was able to solve the Cansino puzzle. Coach Louie Gonzales patrolled the perimeter and made sure Cansino was watched on every move. If UST’s super rookie caught the ball up high, La Salle’s fleety guards hounded him and when he slashes, Baltazar, Bates and Santillan will be waiting up there as the close-out option. Cansino finished with only 7 points and went just 30% from the field. He also turned the ball over five times.
- Mayhem did not work, and the UST defense sputtered. As early as a first pass, the press break began. La Salle drove right into the heart of Espana’s defense mostly on 3 on 2 breaks and scored easily. Melecio made the most out of the porous UST defense in the first half with 17 points. And at the end of the 3rd, La Salle outscored UST 15-4 on fastbreak points.
- Without an inside option, UST went on a 3-point chuck fest. La Salle pulled away because the Growling Tigers shot a horrible 3-of-17 from long distance for 17% in the initial half.