Photo by Courtside Philippines


La Salle escapes NU’s fourth quarter surge, improves to 1-1

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, September 11, 2019 3:34pm

The De La Salle Green Archers escaped a late surge by the National University Bulldogs and got a little bit lucky at the end of the game to take an 83-82 victory on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers jumped to a 22-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and maintained the double-digit advantage through the next quarters, 42-32 at the half and 67-57 at the end of the third. La Salle extended their lead to 80-66 at on a Keys Meeker three-pointer with 5:50 left in the game.

Shaun Ildefonso scored on a putback off an offensive rebound before the Bulldogs forced the Green Archers into a 24-second shot clock violation. Issa Gaye also scored two points on a tip-in and NU’s defense forced Justine Baltazar to commit a traveling violation with 3:49 left.

Baltazar then hit 1-of-2 free throws before John Lloyd Clemente and Shaun Ildefonso sank a trey each and Shaun also sank a free throw. Shaun also had a steal that led to a Clemente fastbreak layup. Andrei Caracut then missed a jumper for La Salle and Dave Ildefonso located Shaun for a three-pointer that gave NU an 82-81 lead with 28.1 seconds left.

Aljun Melecio, however, quickly issued a pass to Kurt Lojero who sank a baseline jumper that gave La Salle the lead anew, 83-82 with 14.9 seconds left. Shaun Ildefonso had one last chance to give his team the victory, but he missed on a three-point try.

A battle for the loose ball followed and Jamie Malonzo appeared to have kicked the ball out. After the review of the play, however, the referees deemed that the kickball violation happened after the final buzzer sounded.

Baltazar led La Salle with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Malonzo added 14 points, 11 boards, and one block. Melecio also had 10 markers and four dimes.

Shaun Ildefonso had a big night for NU with 26 points, two rebounds, and five steals while Clemente added 19 markers, two boards, and two steals. JV Gallego also had 12 points while Issa Gaye finished with just 11 markers and eight boards.

With the win, La Salle improved to a 1-1 win-loss record and joined the logjam in the middle of the team standings. NU dropped to 0-2 at the bottom with the University of the East Red Warriors. The Green Archers will aim for win number 2 on September 14 against UE while the Bulldogs will go for their first win on the 15th against the second-placers University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.

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