UAAP: La Salle bounces back, beats UST | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: La Salle bounces back, beats UST

By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 12:29 PM April 05, 2022
UAAP La Salle UST

Photo from UAAP

MANILA, Philippines—La Salle used a strong start and a systematic approach to putting out fires and brought University of Santo Tomas’ young hotshots back to earth with a 75-66 victory Tuesday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.

Justin Baltazar and Emman Galman fired the Archers in the first half, helping their team to a 17-point lead there before entering the break with a 42-27 cushion.

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That 15-point edge may not have been the safest of buffers at halftime, but La Salle, which was coming off a crushing loss to Ateneo, had enough in its bag to hose down whatever uprising UST had to offer to seal a fourth win in five outings.

The Tigers’ young core, who came into the game with a lot of momentum—they had won their last two outings, got a neat lesson in execution to go with their third loss in five matches.

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Joshua Fontanilla, who finished with 20 points, sparked the Tigers at the start of the third as UST came to within 47-38.

But La Salle’s Kurt Lojera exploited UST’s lack of a rim protector and scored six straight points to hike the lead back to 15.

With Michael Phillips buying La Salle several second-chance possessions, including one he highlighted with a put-back slam, the Archers kept the Tigers at bay.

Bryan Santos caught fire early in the fourth with nifty three-point shooting that pushed UST with seven under the halfway mark, but La Salle pounded the rock down low, with Baltazar methodically swallowing post defenders to take the wind out of the Tigers’ drive.

Baltazar finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead La Salle while Lojera added 15 points and three steals. Galman wound up with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field while Phillips had 13 rebounds and eight points.

Nic Habanero also had 20 points and 10 rebounds for UST, while Santos and Christian Manaytay had nine each.

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TAGS: La Salle Green Archers, UAAP, UST Growling Tigers
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