Baltazar as 'third king?' Sophomore gunner proves Pirates not just a two-man show
Pirates sophomore Wilson Baltazar has now scored in double figures in four successive games. Dante Peralta

WILSON Baltazar continued to prove that Lyceum is more than just about prolific backcourt duo as he led the Pirates to a 71-64 victory over San Sebastian in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday.

The Stags put the clamps on Dexter Zamora and Shane Ko but forgot to contain Baltazar, who sustained his hot shooting by tallying a team-high 18 points, built around four three-pointers, on top of five rebounds.

“Sinabi ko sa sarili ko na hindi ako puwedeng balewalain dito sa team na ito,” the 20-year-old Pampanga native said. “Kailangan ko makatulong sa team kahit sa paanong paraan.”

It marked the fourth straight game that the lanky sophomore has scored in double figures, after finishing with a grand total of two points in the previous three games combined.

“Nawawala ako last few games namin, kaya nagpursigi ako na i-motivate ang sarili ko para makabalik,” said the promising sophomore wingman with a feathery touch from long range. “Sinimulan ko sa ensayo namin, talagang pinu-push ko yung sarili ko, lalo na sa depensa.”

“Maganda naman yung kinalabasan.”

Even before his hot streak, Baltazar was emerging to be a marked man after scoring in double figures in the first two games. But he was shackled in his next three games, going scoreless in two and coming up with just two points in one game.

But coming up empty handed also did Baltazar a favor.

“Sabi nga namin makakalimutan rin siya ng kalaban,” Lions coach Bonnie Tan said.

Treu enough, their opponents did.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos