La Salle rallies past scrappy NU, faces rival Ateneo next
MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers staged a huge run in the closing minutes to turn back a scrappy National University (NU) Bulldogs squad, 73-66, in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup in San Juan, Sunday, June 10.
Streaky shooter Aljun Melecio knocked in a 3-pointer to spark a 17-6 comeback as the threatening “triple tower” of Justine Baltazar, Santi Santillan and Kiwi reinforcement Taane Samuel also took over to help the Green Archers recover from a 48-53 deficit early in the 4th quarter.
Baltazar made a bank shot off the fastbreak, 65-59, after a short scramble for the ball. A few possessions later, Samuel hit an open floater off a Dave Ildefonso inbound turnover for a 69-62 lead.
Santillan later sliced through the Bulldogs’ defense for the dagger lay-in, 73-66, with 20 seconds left in regulation.
Baltazar ended up with an efficient double-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks on a 9/16 (56%) shooting to lead the Green Archers, who recovered from a 70-72 loss against the San Beda University (SBU) Red Lions.
Santillan was no slouch, either, finishing with a 16-point, 12-board performance.
On the other end, it was the young hotshot John Lloyd Clemente who paced NU with 16 points on a 4/5 (80%) clip from downtown.
La Salle, who improved to 7-1, will wrap up its elimination run on June 12 in an Independence Day match against blood rival Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles.
The Blue Eagles remain unbeaten in 8 games, but a loss to the Archers may relegate them to second place.
In other games, the Colegio San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights downed the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs, 71-63, while the San Beda Red Lions drubbed a severely undermanned University of the East (UE) Red Warriors squad, 73-50.
The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates also manhandled a listless Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws team by 21, 89-68.
DLSU (73) – Baltazar 19, Santillan 16, Melecio 10, Samuel 8, Lim 6, Capacio 5, Dyke 4, Caracut 3, Go 2, Bates 0, Manuel 0
NU (66) – Clemente 16, Ildefonso, D. 10, Gallego 7, Ildefonso, S. 6, Aquino 6, Sinclair 5, Galinato 5, Yu 4, Joson 2, Gaye 2, Mangayom 2, Tibayan 1, Mosqueda 0, Salim 0, Diputado 0
Quarter scores: 15-14, 34-34, 46-50, 73-66
La Salle 7-1
San Beda 5-2