UAAP 82: Today was a flu game for Justine Baltazar and all of La Salle
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 16, 2019 02:02 PM
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)
De La Salle University wanted nothing more than to get back at one of its first round tormentors in University of the East.
Only, heading into that match-up, Wednesday at MOA Arena, the Green Archers were far from full strength.
“Swerte kaming we were able to pull through,” coach Gian Nazario said post-game as they downed the Red Warriors. “Before practice on Monday, we found out that seven of our players had flu then three are injured so that was really tough.”
Indeed, inactive for the Taft-based team due to various injuries were Tyrus Hill, James Laput, Kurt Lojera, and Keyshawn Meeker while, as per Coach Gian, all of Justine Baltazar, Jordan Bartlett, Andrei Caracut, Jamie Malonzo, Joaqui Manuel, and Aljun Melecio had flu-like symptoms.
And so, La Salle wasn't even sure who was going to play against UE. "We weren't really sure what kind of team we we're gonna bring in today," coach Gian said.
Still, they played through and came through. "I'm proud of our guys. A lot of them are sick, but a lot of them fought through," active consultant Jermaine Byrd said.
All of that was all for the faithful over at Taft Avenue. Asked about their motivation, Baltazar answered, "Yung La Salle community at yung family ko. Kailangan kong maglaro nang maayos para sa kanila."
That was exactly why the fourth-year center was not going to miss the game even after battling flu. "Ang dami naming injury, ang dami naming may sakit kaya kailangan kong maglaro," he shared.
He then continued, referring to their first round loss to the Red Warriors, "Tsaka kailangan naming bumawi sa UE. Ayoko nang maulit kasi masakit sa amin."
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