MANILA, Philippines -- Rhyne Melecio registered a double-double as De La Salle-Zobel extended its winning streak to three games following an 81-67 romp of University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS), Wednesday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.
The Junior Archers completed an elimination round sweep of the Junior Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 85 boys' basketball tournament and improved to 4-4.
"Like what I said before, if you want to get to the Final 4, ito ang mga teams na kailangan naming talunin kasi our next game namin would be FEU," said De La Salle-Zobel coach Boris Aldeguer.
"Had we lost this game, it would be a harder drive for us to get to the Final 4. This was an important win. A good win for us coming to our next game," he added.
Extending his season-best double-doubles to eight, Melencio is happy that the Junior Archers are getting better at this important stretch of the season.
"Feel ko each game, lumalakas kami. Natututo kami each game. 'Yung Round 1, kinalimutan na namin so parang nag-back to zero kami sa Round 2," said Melencio, who also had four assists, three blocks and two steals.
De La Salle-Zobel had a balanced offense, as Kieffer Alas and Justin San Agustin each scored 15 points, while Junjun Melecio and Charles Dimaano had 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Jonas Napalang had 22 points, eight boards, and six assists while Kobe Demisana chipped in 17 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four assists for UPIS, who remained tied with University of the East (UE) at 1-7.
In the second game, Kristian Porter had 18 points and 17 rebounds while LeBron Nieto chipped in 17 points, seven boards, six assists, and four steals as Ateneo de Manila High School avenged its first round loss to UE with an 88-77 victory.
The Blue Eagles, who dropped a 79-84 decision to the Junior Warriors in the first round, rose to 3-5, just a game behind the Junior Archers.
Ateneo coach Reggie Varilla was happy with the way his troops, particularly the bigs led by Porter, delivered in the fourth period after battling tooth and nail with UE in the first 30 minutes.
"Good thing, the boys responded. We were able to get some stops and convert it," said Varilla.
The Blue Eagles went back to basics to arrest the skid.
"We went back to our roots so we could focus on what we needed to do. We played our hardest" said Porter, who also had three assists and two blocks.
Andrei de Leon paced the Junior Warriors with 23 points, seven assists, and three steals while Vhon Roldan contributed 20 points and nine boards.
DLSZ (81) -- Melencio 18, San Agustin 15, Alas 15, Melecio 13, Dimaano 11, Espina 5, John 2, Pabellano 2, Arejola 0, Chang 0, Cruz 0, Dimalanta 0, Legaspi 0, Sta. Maria 0.
UPIS (67) -- Napalang 22, Demisana 17, Villaverde 12, Valdeavilla 6, Melicor 6, Raymundo 4, Mendoza 0.
Quarterscores: 19-14, 35-28, 57-46, 81-67
Ateneo (88) -- Porter 18, Nieto 17, Delos Santos 12, Ebdane 10, De Guzman 10, Santiago 6, Adevoso 4, Prado 3, Salandanan 2, Urbina 2, Tupas 2, Domangcas 2.
UE (77) -- De Leon 23, Roldan 20, Morales 9, Duque 6, Gragasin 5, Arcega 4, Gatchalian 4, Bagro 3, Flores 2, Pangilinan 1, F. Reyes 0, V. Reyes 0, Isip 0, Malonzo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-22, 40-43, 65-63, 88-77
UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.