SAN JUAN City – De La Salle University staged an enormous second half rally to frustrate Gilas Pilipinas, 91-72, in the featured game of the 12th FilOil Flying V Premier Cup Friday evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Green Archers fought back from as much as 20 points down for their second win in as many games while keeping the Nationals winless.
DLSU’s patience paid off as they finally tasted the lead on a basket by Justine Baltazar to end the third period, 66-65. The game remained tight with Kobe Paras equalizing on a thundering dunk at the 7:28, 71-71, but that was the last to be heard from Gilas.
Both sides would go scoreless for the next two minutes until the Green Archers went on a dizzying 20-1 closing tear started by Aljun Melecio, two stabs by Taane Samuel and capped by three consecutive triples from Kib Montalbo. The only response by the Nationals was a lone free throw by J-Jay Alejandro as they simply folded amidst the DLSU onslaught.
Montalbo hit a total of seven triples to highlight his stellar performance of 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals followed by Melecio with 18 points and seven assists. Also pumping in double-doubles were Samuel with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Leonard Santillan with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“We faced the best of the best today so this is a good opportunity for a young team like ours,” said Coach Louie Gonzalez. Montalbo for his part admitted the team relaxed in the first half so they fell behind early but Coach Gonzalez reminded them not to lose their discipline.
Paras topped Gilas with 19 points on seven out of 17 shooting from the field. Juan Gomez de Liano had 14 points but went scoreless in the second half while Arvin Tolentino also had 14 points.
How They Scored:
DE LA SALLE (91) – Montalbo 25, Melecio 18, Samuel 16, Santillan 10, Go 6, Baltazar 6, Dyke 4, Corteza 2, Tolentino 2, Capacio 2, Herrera 0, Bates 0.
GILAS PILIPINAS (72) – Paras 19, Gomez de Liano 14, A Tolentino 14, Tratter 8, R Rivero 6, V Tolentino 3, Ambohot 3, Desiderio 2, Gozum 2, Alejandro 1, P Rivero 0, Mocon 0, Tamayo 0, Tuffin 0.
Period Scores: 14-27, 39-47, 66-65, 91-72.