LA SALLE DEMOLISHES UP TO EXTEND A DO-OR-DIE CHAMPIONSHIP BID
The La Salle Green Archers defeated the UP Fighting Maroons, 83-80, to hustle a UAAP Season 84 Final Four do-or-die duel for a finals berth on Wednesday, May 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle got out to a fast start, jumping out to a 29-19 advantage, and further widened the gap to 13 points, 48-35, late in the first half.
And even though the Fighting Maroons tried to rally back in the second half, the green and white squad was eager to maintain dominance as a jumper by Mike Phillips in the late third quarter set off a 22-point lead.
After a Gerry Abadiano three in the final 13.4 seconds of the fourth and last quarter, the Katipunan team made things difficult for La Salle, who came back from a 16-point hole to trim the margin to three, 78-81.
However, Evan Nelle led the Archers to victory after splitting his free throws with 12.1 ticks left, while Ricci Rivero failed for a late trey, Nelle ensured a make-or-break match for the last 5.1 seconds, 83-80.
Nelle paced La Salle with 26 points, seven assists, six boards, and three steals, while Justine Baltazar added a double-double of 15 points and 18 rebounds on top of 3 dimes and 2 blocks.
The Fighting Maroons, who missed CJ Cansino, were led by Malick Diouf after delivering 18 points, 20 boards, three assists, and three blocks, while Rivero chipped in 18 points, eight boards, five blocks, and two assists, and Zavier Lucero had 17 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
La Salle 83 – Nelle 26, Baltazar 15, Lojera 11, M. Phillips 7, Austria 7, Winston 7, Nwankwo 4, Nonoy 3, Manuel 3, B. Phillips 0.
UP 80 – Diouf 18, Rivero 18, Lucero 17, Tamayo 8, Abadiano 7, Cagulangan 6, Spencer 3, Alarcon 3, Ramos 0, Fortea 0, Webb 0, Lina 0.
Quarters: 24-16, 48-37, 66-55, 83-80.