The De La Salle Green Archers were victims of a horrendous shooting performance the last time they took the floor.
On Saturday, they were able to turn the tide, holding the FEU Tamaraws to only one field goal in the final six minutes to carve out a 65-57 victory in UAAP Season 81 action at the Araneta Coliseum.
In their previous outing against the Adamson Falcons, the Archers started the game 0-for-20. They couldn't find the bottom of the net in that game but bounced back in a big way versus the Tamaraws.
Justine Baltazar led the offense with 15 points while Santi Santillan was right behind him with 12 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
"Actually, I give credit to the seniors and my coaching staff for this game," said head coach Louie Gonzalez. "Kib (Montalbo) was trying to put everybody on the same page. Especially when they made that 10-0 run, that's when Kib's leadership came out. As a senior, he knows the importance of this game and for him. A win tonight will be a big help to our campaign in making the Final Four."
Montalbo, who has established himself a solid defender in the collegiate ranks, led the charge on the other end, as the Green Archers closed the lid on their basket in the fourth quarter. FEU's Alec Stockton converted a basket with 6:11 remaining to stay within a point against their opponent. Unfortunately, that was the last field goal up until Arvin Tolentino knocked down a triple with 34 seconds remaining. By then, it was a little too late for FEU.
Fil-Australian Brandon Bates also had a breakout game with his 7-point, 10-rebound outing.
"Actually, this is what I really want from the start. The team that I was picturing is that every one of my players can contribute," Gonzalez said in Filipino. "This is Brandon's night. I spoke to him before the game that with the game he is playing, he has to commend himself. This guy will do everything not just for scoring but to win the game."
La Salle is now in third place in the standings with a 6-4 record.
Tolentino was back after serving a two-game suspension and finished with 20 points. He was the lone Tamaraw in double figures in the low-scoring ball game.
The Tamaraws meanwhile are momentarily out of the Final Four picture with a 5-6 card. After grabbing a share of the lead at 5-2, they've lost four straight games and are currently in fifth place.
DLSU 65 - Baltazar 15, Santillan 12, Melecio 7, Montalbo 7, Caracut 7, Bates 7, Dyke 5, Serrano 5, Go 0, Manuel 0.
FEU 57 - Tolentino 20, Parker 6, Stockton 6, Escoto 5, Iñigo 5, Ramirez 5, Cani 4, Comboy 3, Eboña 3, Bienes 0, Tuffin 0.
Quarters: 14-13, 34-34, 48-47, 65-57
- The Green Archers held the Tamaraws to a season-low in points (57) and assists (8).
- The last time FEU had a four-game losing streak was in 2006.
FEU - Nov 4 (Sun) vs UE Red Warriors at Ynares Antipolo
DLSU - Nov 3 (Sat) vs UST Growling Tigers at Ynares Antipolo