MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Green Archers opened their UAAP second-round campaign on a high note, drubbing the struggling UE Red Warriors, 79-59, in Season 81 men’s basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, October 17.
La Salle’s spitfire guard Encho Serrano played his best game yet, dropping a team-high 18 points off the bench with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Andrei Caracut also came off the pine for 16 markers, 6 boards and 2 dimes as the Archers zoomed past the Warriors after a huge third-quarter run.
The Archers climbed to a share of 3rd place with the FEU Tamaraws at 5-3, while the Warriors remained firmly at rock bottom at 1-7.
“Going to this game, I told them that with the situation right now with the standing, every win counts,” said La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez. “So I told them, of course we respect UE. Kahit sino ang kalaban namin (whoever we’re up against), if we can… we need to put in the work.”
Although UE charged to within 3, 46-49, at the 5:46 mark of the 3rd after some trademark Alvin Pasaol bully-ball in the post, the Archers shot right back with a huge 17-3 run, 66-49, ending the period with a buzzer-beating tip by Serrano.
La Salle only ballooned their lead further midway through the 4th, capped with an open corner triple by former Ateneo high school forward Joaqui Manuel, 73-52.
Pasaol again showed why he’s among the MVP frontrunners after finishing with a monstrous 22-point, 17-rebound double-double with a steal and a block to boot.
Chris Connor was the only other Warrior in double-digit scoring with 12 markers and 7 boards.
La Salle 79 – Serrano 18, Caracut 16, Santillan 13, Baltazar 12, Melecio 8, Montalbo 3, Manuel 3, Bates 2, Dyke 2, Corteza 2, Go 0, Capacio 0.
UE 59 – Pasaol 22, Conner 12, Varilla 7, Bartolome 6, Cullar 3, Antiporda 3, Manalang 2, Acuno 2, Sobrevega 2, Guion 0, Gagate 0, Beltran 0, Lacap 0, Strait 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 47-36, 66-49, 79-59.