University of Santo Tomas (UST) will be gunning for a share of the top spot when it faces De La Salle University today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The UST-La Salle match is at 4 p.m. while Ateneo de Manila University battles University of the Philippines (UP) at 2 p.m.
UST is in the second place with a 4-1 card behind solo leader Far Eastern University, which holds a 5-1 mark. Ateneo and La Salle are sharing the third spot with 3-2 each followed by defending champion National University (3-3), UP (2-3), University of the East (2-4) and Adamson University (0-6).
Veteran Kevin Ferrer, a member of the national team that won gold medal in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games, powered the Growling Tigers to a 68-58 victory against the Blue Eagles in their last game.
The 6-foot-4 small forward fired 27 points and hauled down nine rebounds to lead UST to its fourth win. He’s averaging 18.80 points and 9.20 rebounds per game.
“He’s [Ferrer] a leader. Kinakausap niya ‘yung mga teammates niya and nagre-respond naman ang lahat,” said Growling Tigers head coach Bong Dela Cruz.
Besides Ferrer, the Growling Tigers will be banking on fellow fifth year player Ed Daquioag, Canadian Sheak Sheriff and Cameroonian Karim Abdul.
La Salle, on the other hand, is coming off a couple of victories – an 88-71 win over Adamson and a 71-64 triumph against UE.
“UST is a strong team and I think it’s going to be a tough game. They play very hard and we need to match their intensity,” La Salle mentor Juno Sauler said.
Former Finals Most Valuable Player Jeron Teng is expected to banner the Green Archers along with prolific rookie Andrei Caracut, Thomas Torres, Jason Perkins and Abu Tratter. Larry Muyang also had a great game the last time out with a double-double 11-point, 11-rebound output.