MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Green Archers dealt their former coach Aldin Ayo a heavy beating.
Pulling away early, the Green Archers overwhelmed Ayo and his UST Growling Tigers, 99-72, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, October 3.
Justine Baltazar unloaded a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds to power the Archers, who bounced back from their shock loss against the UP Maroons.
Aljun Melecio was on fire for 17 first-half points, but relaxed down the stretch to finish with a season-high 19 points and Andrei Caracut also chipped in 13 points in the Archers' 27-point blowout win.
La Salle grabbed solo third place at 3-2, while Ayo – who steered the Archers to the 2016 UAAP crown – and the UST fell to a 1-4 tie with UE at the bottom of the standings.
“Actually that's the primary game plan for today, for us to play 40 minutes na composed,” said La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez. “We played 40 minutes the highest level. Good thing sa laro ngayon, everybody contributed and everybody played sa highest level. Up to huling-huli, nag-stick sila sa game plan and still doing the execution.”
(We played 40 minutes the highest level. Good thing in the game today, everybody contributed and everybody played to the highest level. Up to the end, they stuck to our game plan and executed.)
The game was out of reach early in the 2nd quarter, after breakout big man Baltazar scored a tip off the offensive board for the 20-point lead, 36-16, with more than 8 minutes left before halftime.
UST had some offense going for them, but their defense was not potent enough to trim their double-digit deficit to a comfortable striking distance.
The combination of Melecio, Baltazar and Jollo Go outscored the entire UST squad 39-34 in the 1st half.
La Salle also shot a blistering 83% (5-of-6) from three-point range in the 1st half.
Renzo Subido topscored for UST with 16 points and 2 boards.
Zach Huang also had 13 points and 6 boards for the limping Tigers before fouling out with 6:10 left in the final frame.
La Salle 99 – Baltazar 22, Melecio 19, Caracut 13, Santillan 11, Go 11, Serrano 10, Bates 6, Manuel 5, Dyke 2, Capacio 0, Corteza 0.
UST 72 – Subido 16, Lee 13, Huang 13, Caunan 8, Cansino 7, Cosejo 5, Marcos 3, Bataller 3, Mahinay 2, Zamora 2, Agustin 0, Ando 0.
Quarters: 28-13, 54-34, 71-51, 99-72.