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Baltazar scores perfect game as La Salle routs UE

Green Archer Justine Baltazar scores a perfect game to put the UE Red Warriors back on the losing column.
By Kevin Estrada

PASAY CITY -- Not this time though.

Defending UAAP Men's Basketball Champions La Salle never gave UE an taste of the lead in the entire game, dominating matters with a wire-to-wire 99-78 rout Wednesday afternoon at the MOA.

With the career game of Alvin Pasaol three weeks ago still fresh on their minds, Aldin Ayo's Green Archers went to work early and punished the Red Warriors from the opening tip as they are assured of a playoff for a Final Four spot by maintaining their hold at second with a 9-2 card.

Although Ben Mbala lead La Salle with a double double of 25 points and 14 boards, Justine Baltazar fired a perfect game of the bench.

The former NU Bullpup fired 13 points on a perfect 6/6 clip from the field, five of them from the inside the arc.

La Salle zoomed ahead in the opening frame, putting up an early 14-4 lead in the first four minutes.

Although UE countered it with a 14-6 run to pull within two, the Green Archers answered with an 8-0 reply to restore their ten-point cushion at the end of the first.

La Salle then extended their dominance in the middle quarters, leading by as much as 25 in that stretch.

Although UE pulled to within 14 in the final frame,  Mbala and Ricci Rivero fired five unanswered points to fend off the Red Warriors' late challenge.

The Scores

La Salle 99 – Mbala 25, Santillan 14, Rivero R 13, Baltazar 13, Melecio 7, Tratter 6, Montalbo 5, Rivero P 4, Caracut 3, Go 3, Gonzales 3, Paraiso 2, Tero 1, Capacio 0

UE 78 – Pasaol 23, Olayon 18, Derige 9, Varilla 8, Maloles 6, Acuno 6, Cullar 4, Bartolome 2, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Conner 0, Gagate 0

Quarter scores: 28-18, 53-34, 77-55, 99-78

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada