LA Salle scored an 18-8 seven-inning demolition of University of the Philippines on Sunday to secure a spot in the semifinals of the Philippine Baseball League at Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Green Batters, coming off an 11-8 win over IPPC a day ago, scored their fifth victory in as many games, one win away from an elimination round sweep.
La Salle coach Joseph Orillana was glad the Green Batters stepped up after reigning UAAP Athlete of the Year Kiko Gesmundo suffered a shoulder injury while diving in the first inning.
"Masaya ako para sa team. Sabi ko sa kanila, kahit wala si Kiko, kailangan nila mag-step up. Hindi naman puwede na aasa lang kami sa seniors. Kanila na ito e," said Orillana.
The Fighting Maroons led 5-4 in the fifth inning but later committed errors, while a 2-RBI single by Paolo Casas served as the go-ahead run.
Tuwi Park was once again spectacular for La Salle, going 3-of-4 with five runs batted-in. Anton Acuna had three RBI and Casas two.
Graduating La Salle infielder Boo Borandiaran pitched the last two innings, fanning two batters.
"Hopefully, sa UAAP magamit namin siya as pitcher," said Orillana as Barandiaran rarely pitched after his sophomore year. "Pinag-fofocus namin siya sa second [base], may times this season na magiging reliever siya. Hindi namin siya binibigla kasi galing siya sa injury."
The Ateneo Blue Eagles snapped their two-game skid after beating the UST Golden Sox, 13-12.
Gino Tantuico connected on the first home run of the tournament during the first inning.