|Justine Baltazar issued another sterling performace as La Salle wins back-to-back games this season. Dennis Jerome Acosta/ File Photo|
By Ricky Manliguis
SAN JUAN-- La Salle picked up its second straight win as it shot down University of the East, 82-72, to cap off Sunday's UAAp Season 81 seniors' basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio got plenty of support from their teammates offensively for a 2-1 win -loss card and force a three-way tie with Far Eastern U and defending champs Ateneo.
The dribblers from Taft had a great start, holding the lead to as much as 20 at certain points of the match with Encho Serrano and Mark Dyke doing the damage in the third.
But the Red Warriors retaliated with a 13-5 salvo in the third quarter to chop the advantage to 45-59 coming into the payoff. Alvin Pasaol suddenly went on a rampage in the final canto, scoring 17 points as UE got into 10 points, 67-77, with 1:44 left in the game.
Melecio then silenced the UE comeback with a triple for 82-67, 56 ticks to go.
Baltazar produced another double-double performance with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks as he followed up his brilliant outing against National University.
Melecio also produced 16 spiked on a 5-of-7 clip from downtown. Coming into the game, the 5-foot-7 guard shot just 2 of his 16 attempts from rainbow country.
Serrano got his breakout game for the Archers with 11 markers, even as Jollo Go had 10.
Pasaol finished with 22 points and eight boards for UE, which suffered its third successive loss. Jason Varilla and Phillip Manalng had 14 and 11 in that order.
La Salle 82 – Baltazar 16, Melecio 16, Serrano 11, Go 10, Caracut 9, Santillan 6, Dyke 5, Bates 3, Manuel 2, Montalbo 2, Corteza 2, Capacio 0.
UE 72 – Pasaol 22, Varilla 14, Manalang 11, Bartolome 6, Maloles 5, Cullar 4, Gallardo 4, Acuno 2, Strait 2, Lacap 2, Antiporda 0, Beltran 0, Guion 0.
Quarters: 21-14, 39-27, 59-45, 82-72