In a stunning display of picture-perfect offense and suffocating defense, the De La Salle Green Archers unleashed a 110-69 beating on the UST Growling Tigers, Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. It was a classic case of everything going right for one team and everything going wrong for the other.
The Green Archers started the game with a 27-8 blast in the opening minutes that left the Tigers reeling. From then on, last year's finalists showed no mercy as they continued to set the scoreboard on fire.
"Like what I told the boys, this is a result of a good practice for the team," La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez said. "These guys really sacrificed. I prayed that their sacrifice would bear fruit."
La Salle showed its best form with an eye-popping 34-9 third quarter. It was a killing blow that knocked the Tigers off their feet and squashed all hopes of a comeback. Every shot that an Archer put up, found its way to the bottom of the net.
Aljun Melecio blazed the trail for his squad with a season-high 22 points anchored by six 3-pointers. The pint-sized guard also added five rebounds and six assists and played without fear and relentlessly attacked the UST defense.
Mark Dyke, meanwhile, had a career performance of 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting. A total of six Archers finished in double-figures with their offense clicking from the get-go. La Salle finished with a 53 percent shooting clip from the field and finished 15-of-27 from beyond the arc.
But the Archers also went to work on the defensive end. Marvin Lee finished with a team-high 26 for UST but all the other Tigers struggled on the floor. CJ Cansino sputtered with 14 points and nine boards. As a team, they shot 33 percent and committed 23 turnovers. The Archers seemed to be always one step ahead and shut down the shooting angles of the Tigers.
By the end of the third, the 84-40 line could have already been misread for a final score. The remaining fourth period was 10 minutes of garbage time with the Archers leading by as much as 48 points.
"I just push them that they have to be consistent and keep on improving," implored Gonzalez. "What made today great is that the relationships of our players showed. They really set each other up."
La Salle now claims solo third place with a 7-4 record. UST meanwhile slides to 5-6.
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
QUARTER SCORES: 29-13, 50-31, 84-40, 110-69
La Salle's 110-point output is the most by any team this UAAP season.
The Green Archers' 41-point win is the second biggest winning margin in the league since 2003. Interestingly, the biggest margin belonged to then-La Salle coach Aldin Ayo when he steered his team to a 99-65 victory over UST in 2016.
Renzo Subido of UST returned from injury and tallied zero points in 18 minutes of action.
UST - Nov. 7 (Wed) vs Adamson Falcons at Araneta Coliseum
DLSU - Nov. 7 (Wed) vs NU Bulldogs at Araneta Coliseum