UAAP: La Salle keeps Final 4 hopes alive, escapes UST
MANILA, Philippines–Don’t count De La Salle out just yet.
The Green Archers delivered a second half performance to remember as they subdued University of Santo Tomas, 80-79, Wednesday night to stay in the thick of the fight for a Final Four berth in UAAP Season 82 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Providing La Salle a lift when it needed it the most, Jamie Malonzo, Aljun Melecio and Brandon Bates all came through with big games as the Archers climbed to 6-6, while denying the Growling Tigers a Final Four
spot. Justin Baltazar also dished out a solid output of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Playing in his one and only year of eligibility for La Salle, Malonzo finished with a game-high 23 points, including an electrifying reverse dunk in the final period, while Melecio poured 11 of his 18 points in
the last two periods for the Archers, who are still in fifth spot, just half a game behind Far Eastern U.
Bates notched a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds as he more than held his inside the paint against a UST squad that seized control early, before fading in the second half.
The Archers outscored the Tigers, 26-13, in the third period as they overhauled a 37-44 deficit and turned it into a 63-57 lead heading into the final period. Melecio’s triple gave the Archers a 72-61 lead with 6 minutes remaining.
The result further muddled up the Final Four race with University of the Philippines only securing a playoff for a postseason berth even with an 80-77 win over National U earlier.
The Tamaraws eliminated the Adamson Falcons with a 63-60 victory earlier, while rising to 7-6.
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