ANTIPOLO – Aljun Melecio started the game with a hug for his old coach in Aldin Ayo — but all those pleasantries remained on the sideline the moment the game began. On the court, Melecio was his old killer self in leading the La Salle Green Archers to a season sweep of the UST Growling Tigers with a 110-69 win on Saturday at the Ynares Center.
The third-year guard scored 16 points in the first half to set the tone for the blowout in what was a repeat of their first round meeting.
The Green Archers opened the third period with 20 unanswered points, resulting in a 34-9 third quarter which pushed La Salle to an 84-40 lead.
Justine Baltazar, Mark Dyke and Jollo Go then took over and rained bombs on the hapless Growling Tigers, padding that lead to as many as 48 early in the fourth, 90-42, following a Dyke three-pointer.
La Salle’s total output was the best by any team this season, previously besting their output of 99, in a 27 point win over the Growling Tigers.
The 41-point gap is also the biggest this season after the Growling Tigers were beaten, 85-53, by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the first round.
The win boosted La Salle’s bid for a final four spot as they improved to 7-4 with three games to spare while moving two games ahead of the Growling Tigers, the UP Fighting Maroons and the FEU Tamaraws who are tied for fourth with 5-6 records.
“Tulad ng mga sinabi ko sa bata, this is a result of a good practice for the team. These guys, talagang nagsakripisyo talaga. Pinalangin ko na sana magbunga yung sakripisyong ginawa nila,” said La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez.
“Siguro yung consistency for the entire game. Pinu-push ko lang sa kanila na they have to be consistent and keep on improving,” he added.
Melecio led the way for La Salle with 22 points, five rebounds and six assists while five other Green Archers also scored in double figures.
Dyke had his best performance for the Green Archers as he finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Andrei Caracut added 15 points, Go scored 14, while Baltazar and Encho Serrano finished with 13 points apiece.
La Salle’s defense once again turned out to be a problem for the UST, forcing 23 turnovers which it converted into 28 points.
The Green Archers limited the Green Archers to 20-60 shooting from the field.
Marvin Lee led the Growling Tigers with 26 points as CJ Cansino added 14 points and nine rebounds.
La Salle 110 – Melecio 22, Dyke 16, Caracut 15, Go 14, Baltazar 13, Serrano 13, Santillan 6, Montalbo 4, Manuel 3, Bates 2, Capacio 2, Corteza 0.
UST 69 – Lee 26, Cansino 14, Mahinay 5, Marcos 5, Cosejo 5, Zamora 4, Bataller 3, Huang 3, Agustin 2, Bonleon 2, Subido 0, Caunan 0.
Quarterscores: 29-13; 50-31; 84-40; 110-69.