SAN JUAN City – Aljun Melecio put up an insane shooting display when it mattered most as he bailed out De La Salle University over University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta, 96-83, at the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre Friday afternoon. Melecio canned five triples in the fourth as the Green Archers overturned their seven-point deficit after three periods, 64-71.
Kim Aurin provided the Altas’ last hurrah as he scored to up their lead to five with five minutes to play, 81-76. From there, the Green Archers’ defense went to work resulting in a mind-boggling 17-0 run starring Melecio, Justine Baltazar and Taane Samuel with Melecio delivering the dagger trey at the 1:23 mark, 93-81.
“We lost our rhythm at the start,” admitted Coach Louie Gonzalez. “The team is not even at half of what we want to be by the UAAP season but the good thing is that the players have surrendered themselves to learning the system and achieving our goals.”
DLSU courted disaster in the third as they suddenly could not connect on a field goal in the final five minutes. Four out of eight shooting from the free throw line during that stretch did not help as well.
Melecio had 17 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth on top of six rebounds and five assists. Samuel was just as impressive with 19 points and nine rebounds while Leonard Santillan (18 points and 11 rebounds) and Baltazar (16 points and 12 rebounds) notched double-doubles to up their record to 3-0 and a share of second place in Group with idle Mapua University.
The Green Archers missed gunner Kib Montalbo and big man Brandon Bates to injuries but welcomed back Andrei Caracut to active duty. Also in street clothes nursing injuries were rookie Joaqui Manuel and Ian Herrera.
Aurin topped the Altas with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Prince Eze followed with 14 points and 13 rebounds as they dropped to 0-2.
How They Scored:
DE LA SALLE (96) – Melecio 27, Samuel 19, Santillan 18, Baltazar 16, Caracut 5, Corteza 4, Go 3, Gob 2, Capacio 2, Dyke 0, Tolentino 0.
PERPETUAL HELP (83) – Aurin 21, Eze 14, Sese 12, Charcos 10, Pido 10, Pasia 6, R Peralta 6, Soriano 4, K Peralta 0, Tamayo 0.
Period Scores: 20-20, 48-47, 64-71, 96-83.