UAAP Finals: CJ Austria sparks La Salle blowout win in Game 2
MANILA, Philippines—CJ Austria made sure to show his love to the La Salle crowd in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals on Sunday.
Austria blew kisses to the Green Archers’ supporters every time he scored and flaunted his jersey when the buzzer sounded with La Salle taking a convincing 82-60 victory over University of the Philippines to tie their best-of-three series.
The love was mutual. After all, there was a lot to love about Austria’s Game 2 performance.
“We know CJ is a slasher but earlier, you saw how hard he worked. He worked on his shooting so kudos to him. He made us look good,” said guard Evan Nelle, who was everywhere on the court with 12 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals.
“When his shots fall, it’s really hard to guard him. He wasn’t just doing the scoring, he was doing the dirty work and the little things inside the court.”
Austria provided the spark off the bench with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes of action. But as well as he played, Austria needed a boost after a slow start.
It was Robinson’s confidence in him that led to his hot-shooting, especially when the Green Archers needed it most in the payoff period when they had to keep UP at bay.
“He wasn’t confident in the first few possessions in taking those shots. What we reminded him was, the only shot you’re not going to take is the shot you don’t practice. So he’s really been practicing together with these guards and guys,” said Robinson after their 82-60 win at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
“It was a matter of telling him, ‘maybe you’re forgetting but you practice those shots in training.’ When he got back to the game, he asked me if he should shoot it if he’s open and I said, of course. He practices that shot so he deserves it,” added Robinson.