Lesson learned: La Salle bounces back big time vs Adamson
If there’s one lesson La Salle learned in its blowout loss to defending champions Ateneo, it has to be that basketball, after all, is a team effort.
The Green Archers posted a season-low of three assists in a 71-55 defeat to their fierce rivals and recorded their lowest output so far this season. Season 79 Rookie of the Year Aljun Melecio had 21 points that went with 7 boards, but got a little help from his teammates.
On Saturday, La Salle head coach Louie Gonzalez and his wards made sure not to make the same mistakes again to escape league-leading Adamson University in overtime, 79-78, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
Gonzales, who is now 7-0 against the Falcons dating back to his time as Aldin Ayo’s former deputy at La Salle in Season 78, said they got the numbers they were looking for in the statistical department which they weren’t able to produce against Ateneo.
“If you see the result and compare the numbers now and the numbers of that [Ateneo] game, this game revealed who we really are,” Gonzales, whose team had eight blocks against Adamson, which had none.
“Our scoring, which was missing during our Ateneo game, came back,” he added in Filipino, as his team avoided back-to-back losses and solidified its hold of the fourth spot at the end of the first round. “Other players have delivered in this game.”
It was a collective effort by the Archers with Melecio leading his team anew with 22 points, while big men Justine Baltazar and Santi Santillan had 16 points apiece and combined for 19 boards.
“Our loss against Ateneo taught us well. Maybe it’s a blessing that we loss to them because it made us realize that we need to stick to the system we are used to. During that loss, we got out of the system,” said Melecio, who drilled a floater to extend the game against the Falcons to overtime with 13.6 seconds left in regulation.
“We [Adamson and La Salle] basically do the same thing. We both do run and jump full court. But I am proud of my players for countering and for being mentally tough and disciplined,” said Gonzalez.
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