UAAP: La Salle survives UE, bolsters Final Four bid
MANILA, Philippines—De La Salle evened out its season match up against University of the East with a 65-59 victory Wednesday in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.
The Green Archers, who dropped an 89-88 heartbreaker to the Red Warriors in the first round, momentarily tied Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas at the fourth with 5-5 records. The Growling Tigers have a game later in the day against University of the Philippines.
Jamie Malonzo sunk a big three-pointer with 1:32 left to give La Salle a 61-57 lead before Encho Serrano drove for layup to keep the Green Archers’ ahead, 63-59, with a minute to play.
The victory helped La Salle, whose players have been saddled with illness the past few days, recover from a 77-69 loss to rival Ateneo last Sunday.
Andrei Caracut, Jordan Bartlett, Aljun Melecio, Justine Baltazar, Jamie Malonzo, and Joaqui Flores all had the flu before facing the Red Warriors.
“A day before our practice, we found out that most of our players had the flu and we weren’t able to push through with the fatigue,” said La Salle head coach Gian Nazario.
“That’s a gritty team and I’m proud of the guys because a lot of them were sick and they pulled through,” added consultant Jermaine Byrd.
Baltazar played dominantly for La Salle finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Malonzo added 12 points and six boards.
Encho Serrano also had 12 points for the Green Archers while Brandon Bates was a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Rey Suerte, the hero in their first round encounter, had 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists for the Red Warriors, who fell to a 3-8 card and are now in danger of missing the Final Four.
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