MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) De La Salle University barged into the win column of UAAP Season 85 after a comfortable 83-63 triumph over University of Santo Tomas (UST), Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Even without starting point guard Evan Nelle (fever), La Salle had more than enough to overwhelm the Tigers. They broke the game open in the third quarter, when the Green Archers out-scored UST, 18-6.
The Tigers slipped to 1-1 in the tournament, failing to build on their upset of Adamson University last weekend.
Schonny Winston was once again the hot hand for La Salle, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. CJ Austria had 13 points, while Michael Phillips collected an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. Mark Nonoy, starting in place of Nelle, had three points, four assists, and four steals in 24 minutes.
"After that loss last game against UP, I told the boys that the most important thing that we gotta do is we gotta bounce back hard in this game today," said La Salle coach Derick Pumaren, whose wards couldn't hold on to a big lead against defending champions University of the Philippines (UP) last Saturday.
"I'm happy with the way the boys played. They responded positively, they stepped up the plate and faced the challenge," he added.
UST remained within striking distance, 47-40, at the half behind a combined 18 points from Paul Manalang and Nic Cabañero. But they were completely shut down in the third, with La Salle scoring the first nine points of the period to seize control, 56-40.
The La Salle lead would grow to 24 points, 78-54, off a putback by Austria with 4:18 to play.
There was a nervy moment with just under four minutes left when UST's Cabañero suffered a scary fall after being undercut by La Salle's Bright Nwankwo, who slipped on a wet spot on the floor. Cabañero completed the basket but needed help in getting up; he was unable to convert the bonus free throw.
Cabañero, who scored 33 points in an upset of Adamson last weekend, was limited to just 10 points on 5-of-20 shooting against La Salle. Miguel Pangilinan led the Tigers with 11 points and nine boards. UST, as a team, made just 33% of their field goals.
LA SALLE 83 -- Winston 19, Austria 13, M. Phillips 11, Quiambao 11, Estacio 6, Abadam 6, B. Phillips 5, Nonoy 3, Blanco 3, Manuel 2, Nwankwo 2, Cortez 2, Escandor 0, Macalalag 0, Buensalida 0.
UST 63 -- Pangilinan 11, Faye 10, Cabanero 10, Manalang 10, Garing 6, Lazarte 5, Escobido 4, Mantua 3, Calimag 3, Laure 1, Manaytay 0, Duremdes 0, Magdangal 0, Herrera 0, Gesalem 0.
Quarters: 30-21, 47-40, 65-46, 83-63.