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La Salle gets over wild sequence over UST

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La Salle literally stole the game thanks to a crucial call.

The Green Archers just survived Rhenz Abando’s late burst, outlasting the UST Growling Tigers in a narrow 80-79 victory in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday October 23.

With that important win, La Salle kept their playoffs hope alive wih a 6-6 record.

La Salle was almost assured of a victory with a nine-point lead, 80-71, with less than 30 seconds left in the clock.

However, a desperation back-to-back trey by Abando gave La Salle a serious scare with 12 ticks remaining, 80-77.

UST capitalized on Andrei Caracut’s crucial turnover, but the transition bucket from 6-foot-1 Abando was ruled out as a long 2-pointer instead of a triple, 79-80.

From that moment, La Salle would stand tall in a heart-wrenching duel when Caracut redeemed himself by throwing the ball to Ira Battaller’s back to bounce the ball out of bounce.

“As you know, the standings are really tight, and we’re happy that we kind of responded well, the players responded with urgency today,” said La Salle head coach Gian Nazario.

Jamie Malonzo tuned up his intensity with career-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds while Aljun Melecio registered 18 markers and six assists.

La Salle’s giants also delivered, as Justine Baltazar recorded a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds while Brandon Bates also tallied the same feat with 10 markers, 15 boards, and two blocks.

Meanwhile, UST slid down with a 7-6 record.

Abando paced UST wity 19 points while Soulemane Chabi Yo posted a 17-marker, 17-rebound double-double.

The 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.