WITH a rare 20-20 game, Justine Baltazar helped La Salle tighten its grip in a place in the top half of the standings, while earning a UAAP Player of the Week citation.
Baltazar came up with 25 points and 25 rebounds as La Salle decimated NU in the UAAP 82 basketball tournament on Sunday, and La Salle moved to joint third at 4-4 with Far Eastern University and UST.
The 6-foot-7 center already had 15 points and 14 rebounds at halftime and the Bulldogs simply had no answer.
With the performance, Baltazar was picked Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week over Ken Tuffin of FEU, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo and Senegalese big man Alex Diakhite of UE by print and online media covering the league.
La Salle coach Gian Nazario was all praises for the fourth-year big man, who collected 10 of his huge rebounding output from the offensive side while also swatting two shots in 33 minutes of action.
“When was the last time a local had a 25 and 25 in the UAAP? I mean, again, yan ang resulta ng ginagawa ni Balti during practices. He really works hard. He takes care of his body and it shows in the game,” said Nazario.
Baltazar’s explosion came just at the right time as the Green Archers try to rally for more wins in the second round.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat kasi maganda and laro ko. Bumawi ako sa laro ko kasi medyo pangit ang laro ko nung huli,” he said after only finishing with four points in the team’s 92-77 triumph over UST a week ago.