UAAP 82: Baltazar shows might in La Salle’s revenge on UE

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 16, 2019 12:20 PM
UAAP 82: Baltazar shows might in La Salle’s revenge on UE
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Justine Baltazar was simply unstoppable in the last seven minutes, Wednesday at MOA Arena, and wielded all of the weapons at his disposal to lift De La Salle University to a 65-59 triumph over University of the East.

Baltazar pounded in all but two points in the 10-3 run that erased a two-point deficit and erected a 57-52 advantage that eventually ended as the Green Archers’ fifth win in 10 games in the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In that killer run from the 6:59 to the 3:48 marks of the final frame, the fourth-year center put all of his wares in display, hitting a long two, a short stab, a tip-in, and a baseline jumper to take the fight out of the Red Warriors.

He wound up with a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double all while battling through flu-like symptoms. "We found out that seven of our players had flu then three are injured. Swerte kami that we were able to pull through," coach Gian Nazario said post-game.

On Baltazar’s shoulders, La Salle exacted on one of its first round tormentors.

And on Baltazar’s shoulders, La Salle bounced back into the win column all the way to joint third - and even possibly solo third depending on the results of Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas' games in the day.  "We're happy that we were able to pull this one out. We really needed this one," coach Gian said.

Alongside the 6-foot-7 center was Jamie Malonzo and Encho Serrano with the former finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, and three steals and the latter ending with 12 markers, four assists, and two pilfers.

For UE, Rey Suerte topped the scoring column with 17 points on top of four rebounds and four assists while Philip Manalang chipped in 14 markers, six boards, and two steals.

Alex Diakhite himself posted an 11-point, 20-rebound double-double, but as he had no answers for Baltazar, he saw his side drop to 3-8.

BOX SCORES

LA SALLE 65 - Baltazar 23, Malonzo 12, Serrano 12, Bates 9, Melecio 4, Manuel 3, Caracut 2, Cagulangan 0, Cu 0, Lim 0

UE 59 - Suerte 17, Manalang 14, Diakhite 11, Conner 9, Mendoza 7, Apacible 1, Antiporda 0, Beltran 0, Camacho 0, Cruz 0, Pagsanjan 0, Tolentino 0

QUARTER SCORES: 14-13, 26-28, 42-46, 65-59

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