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Tiebreaker Times


Derrick Pumaren in awe as Mike Phillips, Baltazar grab 20-plus boards each

Despite boasting a deep backcourt, De La Salle University relied on its twin towers to pull the upset rug at the expense of University of the East.

Justine Baltazar and Mike Phillips had monster games in the paint for the Green Archers, contributing 14 points and 22 rebounds and 12 points, 26 rebounds, and two blocks respectively in La Salle’s 85-82 win over UE in the second round of the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

And their contributions were critical as the Green Archers struggled to find their groove against the pesky Red Warriors.UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UE-vs-DLSU-Justine-Baltazar-scaled Derrick Pumaren in awe as Mike Phillips, Baltazar grab 20-plus boards each Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Nung first half, wala, maalat eh. Hindi ako maka-shoot pero hindi pa rin ako sumuko. Una, dumipensa muna ako tapos yun dumating na yung points,” said Baltazar.

“Yung kay Michael naman, tinulungan kami sa rebounds. Nandun pa rin yung depensa niya, yung blocks. Di pa rin kami bumitaw hanggang sa huli. Talagang yung pride namin nandun pa rin kaya nanalo kami.”

Phillips, who has now become a favorite of Lasallians thanks to his hustle plays, was one rebound short of equalling Ateneo de Manila University center Ange Kouame’s 27-rebound game against Far Eastern University in Season 81, which is the record in the modern era.

Still, Phillips does not lament about that record as he is only thinking about not suffering an upset against UE.

“Sa akin naman po, kahit masama yung start namin, tingin ko pinakita namin ang ‘Animo Spirit’ towards the end,” said the 6-foot-9 newcomer. “UE really put up a good fight and my regards go out to them because they really stuck it through the whole time.

“Gusto ko lang matulungan ang mga kasama ko dito sa team. I really want to just make their lives easier so it was really a team effort today and I’m glad we really pulled it off.”

For his part, La Salle mentor Derrick Pumaren is pleased that he has Baltazar and Phillips at his disposal. In a league with talented foreign centers, the Green Archers need to keep up in the paint if they wish to seal a Final Four return as well as achieve something beyond that.

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Pumaren has seen it all as a coach at the collegiate and professional levels in Philippine basketball. However, what he saw tonight will live long in his memory.UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UE-vs-DLSU-Derrick-Pumaren Derrick Pumaren in awe as Mike Phillips, Baltazar grab 20-plus boards each Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“You know, in my more than 30 years of coaching, this is the first time na nagkaroon ako ng two players getting more than 20 rebounds (in a game). That’s one for the books, I must say,” commented the two-time PBA champion coach.

“These two kept us in the game. They kept getting the rebounds that we needed. Our field goal percentage was down but because of the offensive rebounds, we were getting put-backs and easy baskets. That’s why we stayed close,” he continued.

“That I would say broke yung momentum sa kanila dahil nga nakakakuha ng offensive rebounds itong dalawa and I’m happy that I have these two guys and as I’ve said, it’s one for the books yung nakita ko ngayon. Twenty-six and 22 rebounds, that’s something wala pa ata nakagawa nun dito.”

As La Salle edges closer towards a Final Four return after a five-year exodus, no doubt Baltazar and Phillips have bigger roles to play as they look to control what happens in the paint.

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Derrick Pumaren in awe as Mike Phillips, Baltazar grab 20-plus boards each Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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