UAAP: La Salle beats NU on Lojera game-winner

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2019 03:21 PM | Updated as of Sep 11 2019 03:33 PM

Justine Baltazar shone in La Salle's first win. UAAP photo

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) De La Salle University squandered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter but got a clutch shot from Kurt Lojera to take down National University (NU), 83-82, for its first win of UAAP Season 82 on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers were on top, 80-66, with under six minutes left off a Keys Meeker triple when the Bulldogs when on a scorching run to erase the deficit.

A huge three-pointer by Shaun Ildefonso put NU ahead, 82-81, with 28.1 seconds to go, but La Salle answered with a baseline jumper from Lojera to regain the advantage with just 14.9 ticks left.

The Bulldogs still had a chance to go for the win, but Ildefonso missed on another three-pointer, and time ran out on NU after they grabbed the offensive rebound. 

La Salle's Jamie Malonzo was called for a kicked ball, but after a review, officials ruled that there was no time left on the clock when the infraction happened.

"One thing we can't address at the moment is our inexperience," said La Salle coach Gian Nazario. "And when a team like that rattles you a lot, familiarity will be an advantage."

"It showed in the last quarter, we were rattled," he admitted. "Good thing, we were able to push through."

La Salle's turnovers were a major factor in their meltdown, with NU sophomore John Lloyd Clemente scoring off those miscues. His bucket with 1:12 left made it a two-point game, 81-79, before Ildefonso nailed his go-ahead shot.

Their lead lasted barely 14 seconds, however, before Lojera took a pass off Aljun Melecio for the game-winner. 

"From here, we just want to get better," said Nazario.

Justine Baltazar had 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Malonzo had 14 points and 11 rebounds along with another highlight reel dunk. Melecio had 10 points.

Squandered in the loss was a 26-point outing from Ildefonso, along with Clemente's 19-point performance.

La Salle improved to 1-1 after opening their season with a loss to Ateneo de Manila University, while NU dropped to 0-2 following another heartbreaking defeat.

The scores:

LA SALLE 83 -- Baltazar 23, Malonzo 14, Melecio 10, Caracut 7, Lojera 6, Meeker 6, Serrano 6, Bates 4, Pado 4, Cagulangan 3, Cu 0, Hill 0, Manuel 0.

NU 82 -- S. Ildefonso 26, Clemente 19, Gallego 12, Gaye 11, D. Ildefonso 8, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Mosqueda 2, Diputado 0, Galinato 0, Mangayao 0, Oczon 0, Tibayan 0, Yu 0.

Quarter scores: 22-12, 42-32, 67-57, 83-82

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