MANILA, Philippines – Not many players consistently post double-doubles, and even fewer can put up 20-20 games.
De La Salle University big man Justine Baltazar did them five better, powering his way for a 25-point, 25-rebound double-double in their 85-61 victory over National University (NU) in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament on Sunday.
The 6-foot-7 center already had 15 points and 14 rebounds at halftime before doubling down on his effort and, in the end, the Bulldogs had nothing left to stop him.
Joining the elite company of players who have recorded a 25-25 game, Baltazar was the hands down winner for the latest Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week award.
A workhorse inside the paint, the fourth-year big man collected 10 of his huge rebounding output from the offensive side while also swatting two shots in 33 minutes of action.
His exploits were praised by La Salle head coach Gian Nazario.
"When was the last time a local had a 25 and 25 in the UAAP? I mean, again, 'yan ang resulta ng ginagawa ni Balti during practices. He really works hard. He takes care of his body and it shows in the game," said Nazario.
Baltazar's explosion came just at the right time as the Green Archers try to rally for more wins in the second round.
"Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat kasi maganda and laro ko. Bumawi ako sa laro ko kasi medyo pangit ang laro ko nung huli," said the big man, who only had four points in their 92-77 triumph over University of Santo Tomas last week.
Baltazar grabbed the weekly citation given by print and online media covering the league away from the likes of Ken Tuffin of Far Eastern University, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University, and Senegalese Alex Diakhite of University of the East.
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