UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) shook off a lethargic first three quarters to score a 73-57, come-from-behind win over University of the Philippines (UP) on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
After trailing behind by three points in the first half (36-39) and posting a mere three-point advantage (53-50) in third period, the Growling Tigers under rookie head coach Bong dela Cruz pulled off a dazzling 20-3 run in the fourth period to clinch their third consecutive victory.
UST’s win-loss record improved to 3-1 to share the No. 2 and 3 spots with Far Eastern University and Ateneo De Manila University.
Cameroonian Karim Abdul finished with 18 points on a 5-of-8 shooting in the field plus eight rebounds, guard Louie Vigil notched a career-high 17 points on top of four rebounds and three steals while forward Aljon Mariano had 10 points with six rebounds and four assists.
“Louie is playing so great even in our previous summer tournaments that’s why I’m not surprised with the way he’s playing right now,” Dela Cruz said. “We also practiced hard in our shooting.”
Kevin Ferrer contributed nine points to UST’s win.
Dave Moralde led the Fighting Maroons with 15 points and Jay-R Gallarza added 10 points. UP whose record dropped to 0-5, extended its losing streak that started in 2011 to 26 games.
In the second game, De La Salle University routed Adamson University, 67-48, behind the 18 points, five rebounds and four assists of playmaker Kim Montalbo. Prince Rivero finished with 12 points and six rebounds for La Salle.
The Green Archers, who earned their back-to-back wins, now have a 3-2 win-loss record, while the Falcons joined the Fighting Maroons that also bears a 0-5 win-loss slate at the bottom of the standings.