La Salle survives Abando’s late flurry to stay in the hunt in UAAP 82

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 23, 2019 06:41 PM
La Salle survives Abando’s late flurry to stay in the hunt
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Jamie Malonzo put on a show in the middle of the Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday, but De La Salle University put in the work as they powered through Rhenz Abando and University of Sto. Tomas’ late rally for a well-earned 80-79 win.

The win was a big one for the Green Archers as not only did they rise to 6-6 and just behind third-running Far Eastern University in the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, they also repulsed the Growling Tigers from clinching a playoff berth.

Malonzo was at the center of all that, going for 23 points  on top of seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists with a whole lot of highlights sprinkled in between them.

Alongside him, Aljun Melecio shone bright with 18 points, six assists, and two rebounds while Justine Baltazar and Brandon Bates did the heavy lifting down low with the former finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds and the latter ending with 10 markers and 15 boards.

Still, the game was far from over even in the dying moments as, behind Abando, UST went from down nine, 71-80, inside the last three minutes to only down three, 77-80, with 10.9 ticks to go.

It was again the long-limbed forward who tipped their opponents' inbound pass and wasted no time bringing the ball to their side of the court.

Abando then launched a shot from beyond the arc and saw the ball swish the net.

Only, his right big toe was on the line - meaning, the shot wasn't a triple and it didn't tie the tally.

With just 1.3 seconds left, the successful inbound to Andrei Caracut ran out the clock and registered the slim margin of victory for La Salle.

Even with the morale booster, however, the Taft-based team will still have to win out in its remaining assignments against the University of the Philippines and Adamson University to have a good shot at the next round.

Abando topped the scoring column with 19 points while Soulemane Chabi Yo posted a 17-marker, 17-rebound double-double.

Unable to complete the comeback, though, they dropped down into joint third with the likewise 7-6 Tamaraws.

BOX SCORES

LA SALLE 80 - Malonzo 23, Melecio 18, Baltazar 14, Bates 10, Hill 5, Manuel 5, Caracut 2, Serrano 2, Bartlett 1, Lojera 0.

UST 79 - Abando 19, Chabi Yo 17, Cansino 9, Bataller 6, Subido 6, Paraiso 5, Huang 4, Nonoy 4, Ando 3, Concepcion 3, Cuajao 3, Bordeos 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 19-24, 37-44, 63-57, 80-79.

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