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La Salle grinds out FEU to keep solo third

Coming off a heartbreaking 50-57 overtime loss to the Adamson Soaring Falcons a week ago, the De La Salle University Green Archers unleashed a little bit of mayhem on the skidding Far Eastern University Tamaraws, eking out a 65-57 victory, Saturday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers go up to a 6-4 record, while giving the UP Fighting Maroons an assist as the FEU Tamaraws dropped to 5-6.

And it was because of the leadership of graduating Green Archer Kib Montalbo.

“Actually, I give credit to the seniors and my coaching staff for this game. Kib was trying to put everybody on the same page,” shared first-year Green Archers head coach Louie Gonzalez.

“Especially when they made that 10-0 run, dun lumabas yung leadership ni Kib. As a senior, alam niya napaka-importante ng laro na ito for the team and for him. A win tonight will be a big help to our campaign in making the Final Four,” he added.

Down 50-51 early in the final frame, the Green Archers zoned in on defense, allowing just one FEU field goal in a seven-minute stretch.

Andrei Caracut sparked the spurt with a layup, and was followed by steals from Aljun Melecio and Montalbo and swats by Brandon Bates and Santi Santillan. A three-pointer by Melecio with 1:15 left gave La Salle a 62-53 lead.

“Actually, this is what I really want from the start. Yung team na pinipicture ko is kahit sino sa mga players ko, makakatulong sa amin,” shared Gonzalez, as they dropped FEU to a four-game losing streak.

Justine Baltazar had 15 rebounds and six rebounds from off the bench duties. The towering duo of Santi Santillan and Brandon Bates finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and seven points and 10 rebounds respectively. Bates had two blocks as well.

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“This is Brandon’s night. I spoke to him before the game that with the game is playing, he has to commend himself. This guy will do everything – not just for scoring but to win the game,” beamed Gonzalez about the Filipino-Australian rookie.

Arvin Tolentino, who was coming off a two-game suspension, was the sole double-digit scorer for FEU with 20 points.

FEU attempted just four free throws in the game, while La Salle had 19. The two teams combined to shoot just nine free throws.

Prince Orizu missed his second straight game due to a high left ankle sprain.

La Salle will next face the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers on Saturday, November 3. FEU, on the other hand, loo to get back to the win column when they take on the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday, November 4. Both games will take place at the Ynares Sports Arena in Antipolo City.


The Scores:

DLSU (65) – Baltazar 15, Santillan 12, Melecio 7, Montalbo 7, Caracut 7, Bates 7, Dyke 5, Serrano 5, Go 0, Manuel 0.

FEU (57) – Tolentino 20, Parker 6, Stockton 6, Escoto 5, Iñigo 5, Ramirez 5, Cani 4, Comboy 3, Eboña 3, Bienes 0, Tuffin 0.

Quarterscores: 14-13, 34-34, 48-47, 65-57

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