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Baltazar tows La Salle to their first victory


Justine Baltazar came clutch as the De La Salle University in their win against the National University Bulldogs, 80-76, in the 2018 UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Wednesday.

After playing catch up in the first two quarters, Aljun Melecio led La Salle offence in the third quarter to regain the lead at the end of the third, 65-59.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 76-apiece late in the fourth, before Troy Rike missed crucial freethrows. Justine Baltazar comes clutch to break the 76-all score, before Andrei Caracut’s freethrows sealed the game for La Salle, 80-76.

“Hindi ko talaga ang iisipin ko na preparation ng NU tapos naiba pa yung makakalaban,” said Green Archers head coach Louie Gonzales.

Instead of the Bulldogs, Green Archer’s next match after their opening gameday should be the Adamson University Soaring Falcons but due to typhoon Ompong, the Adamson-La Salle matchup was postponed.

Melecio paced La Salle with 19 points while Baltazar had 17.

Rookie Dave Ildefonso had 16 points.

Up next for the Green Archers are the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday, September 19, at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.