By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter
Currently holding the fourth spot in the elimination round of University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81, the De La Salle Green Archers take on the University of the East Red Warriors today at the Mall of Asia Arena with the end view of advancing some more in the top half of the standings.
Sporting a 4-3 record, the Archers trail Far Eastern University (5-3) and with a win over the Warriors in their 2 p.m. match they will tie the Tamaraws at third while creating further separation with now-rolling University of Santo Tomas (4-4), the fifth-running team at this point of the competition.
La Salle is coming off a nail-biter of a win over Adamson University, 79-78, in overtime on Oct. 13 in a game that was tightly fought throughout.
Aljun Melecio paced the Archers in the win with 22 points, going for 8-of-18 shooting from the floor.
Big man Justine Baltazar had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds while Santi Santillan had 16 and nine for La Salle.
Showing composure under pressure, La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez said he is happy with what he saw of his players against the Falcons and hopes they get to sustain it.
“We’re still a work in progress but the players showed great composure,” Mr. Gonzalez said.
UE (1-6), on the other end, has dropped two straight games after finally booking its first victory of the season.
The Warriors lost to National University in their final game of the first round, 88-61, on Oct. 13.
The Joe Silva-coached Warriors competed early in the contest before losing their grip as the match wore on to absorb the rout.
Alvin Pasaol was once again at the forefront of the UE attack, finishing with 20 points to go along with nine boards.
Chris Connor had a career-high 15 points while guard Philip Manalang had 10.
Playing in the second game at 4 p.m. are Adamson (5-2) and season host NU (2-5).
The Falcons have lost back-to-back heading into the game while the Bulldogs are fresh from halting a five-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, super rookie CJ Cansino of UST was named player of the week by the league press corps after helping his team bag two wins in a row last week.
Cansino, who also played high school ball with UST, averaged 11 points, 11 rebounds, 4.5 assists and a steal in their back-to-back wins over UP and FEU to move to the middle of the pack.
In winning the award, Cansino edged out teammate Zach Wang, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena and Angelo Kouame, La Salle’s Melecio and NU’s John Lloyd Clemente.