Justine Baltazar carried the De La Salle University Green Archers to their first win streak of UAAP Season 82 with an 85-61 victory over the National University Bulldogs, Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was a dominating performance for the fourth-year center, churning out a monstrous statline of 25 points and 25 rebounds. He also picked up two assists and two blocks to tow the Green Archers to the promised land.
Baltazar already had a double-double back in the first half as La Salle started hot off the gates with a 26-9 barrage, showing much desire to get back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
“We just wanted a different approach in the second round. It’s just our mindset has to change heading to the second round,” said coach Gian Nazario.
It wasn’t all Baltazar for the Taft side, however, as they tied UST at third place with identical 4-4 slates.
Andrei Caracut found his mark from downtown with his 3-of-4 shooting to finish with 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, Jamie Malonzo gathered 12 points and five rebounds in the conquest.
La Salle led by 24, 63-39, with 1:25 remaining in the third frame. NU then brought the lead down to 13, 65-52, courtesy of a layup from John Lloyd Clemente at the 7:18 mark of the fourth quarter.
That only led to a tougher Green Archers stand in the endgame, though. La Salle then staged a 16-2 blast that brought the lead back up to 27, 81-54, with 2:26 to play.
Dave Ildefonso topscored for NU (1-7) with 11 points, two rebounds, and one steal.
NU will keep trying for a second win this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 10:30am, against the FEU Tamaraws. On the other hand, La Salle look to stop arch-rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles next Sunday, Oct. 13, at 12:nn.
DLSU 85 — Baltazar 25, Caracut 16, Malonzo 12, Lojera 9, Serrano 8, Melecio 6, Bates 4, Manuel 4, Hill 1, Bartlett 0, Escandor 0, Lim 0.
NU 61 — D. Ildefonso 11, S. Ildefonso 10, Diputado 8, Gallego 7, Clemente 5, Galinato 5, Gaye 5, Tibayan 3, Yu 3, Mangayao 2, Minerva 2, Joson 0, Malonzo 0, Oczon 0.
Quarterscores: 26-9, 44-24, 65-48, 85-61.