ALJUN Melecio waxed hot for 42 points as De La Salle-Zobel whipped reigning champion Ateneo, 84-71, on Saturday in an auspicious debut for the Junior Archers in UAAP Season 78 juniors basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The fourth-year guard shot 14-of-24 from the field including seven triples to lift the team to victory over the Blue Eaglets, who lost only once last season en route to winning the title.
Marco Sario added 14 for the Junior Archers.
Jolo Mendoza, last year’s Finals Most Valuable Player, had 16 points while Batang Gilas cager Gian Mamuyac had 11 in a losing cause for the Blue Eaglets, now playing without key players Mike and Matt Nieto.
The Nieto brothers are now with Ateneo’s college team.
In other results, last year’s runner-up National University beat Adamson, 61-55, with John Clemente having 18 points for the Bullpups, who are now without Mark Dyke after joining the De La Salle Green Archers.
Far Eastern University-Diliman downed University of the Philippines Integrated School, 58-52. Xyrus Thomas had 10 points as Kenji Roman grabbed 14 rebounds for the Baby Tamaraws.
Clark Ballada had 22 points as University of Santo Tomas turned back University of the East, 77-73.