Aldin Ayo glad to see rookie Justine Baltazar take his share of limelight as backup to dominant Ben Mbala
Justine Baltazar makes his first field goal, which coach Aldin Ayo expects to give the rookie a boost in morale. Jaime Campos 

JUSTINE Baltazar showed a glimpse of what he can do for La Salle, and coach Aldin Ayo is expecting the rookie to put in even better performances as the season progresses.

The 19-year-old Baltazar played quality minutes, with eight rebounds and five blocks, in La Salle’s huge win over University of Sto. Tomas.

[See Ruthless La Salle stays perfect in UAAP after 38-point rout of UST Tigers]

Baltazar only had two points in 12 minutes of action but Ayo said the Pampanga-raised cager can bring a lot more on offense.

“Kung makikita niyo sa ensayo, malayo ’yung linalaro niya. During practice, bihira mag-mintis sa floater ’yan. Pinagdadasal ko nga na sana, makabutas dahil once he gets the first field goal, for sure, dere-derecho na ‘yun,” said Ayo.

[See Coach Aldin Ayo pleased but far from satisfied even as Archers keep slate unblemished]

Baltazar gives the Green Archers depth in an already solid frontline led by Cameroonian sensation Ben Mbala, who notched a season-high 30 points during the team’s second game of the season.

But the La Salle coach said the sky is the limit for Baltazar for this season even though he is backing up perhaps the strongest contender for the Most Valuable Player trophy.

“Sinasabi ko lang na be natural and play your game. Magaling ‘yung bata on both ends of the floor. Iniiba niya ‘yung tira ng kalaban,” said Ayo.

“Even though he is a rookie, he is going to play a big role sa team namin,” Ayo added.

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