Host University of Santo Tomas (UST) bounced back by beating University of the Philippines (UP), 83-77, in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Saeason 79 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Shooting guard Louie Vigil, who emerged as Player of the Game, led the Growling Tigers with 18 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
“Today’s game was a team effort. All my teammates gave their contributions and stepped-up. I will give the credits to my team,” said Vigil, a graduating student, during the postgame news conference.
Power forward Regie Basibas and guard Oliver De Guzman contributed 11 points apiece while forward player Kent Lao and point guard Henri Subido chipped in a combined 20 points. Jeepy Faundo, Dean Lee and Jon Sheriff had six points each also for UST.
The Growling Tigers improved their win-loss record to 2-2 while the Fighting Maroons remain winless in three games.
“We had a good defense today. This time was more of an adjustments and game plan. We were able to do our man-to-man game,” said UST head coach Boy Sablan.
“[After our loss to La Salle], I tried to talk to each of them. I am happy that they decided to bounce back.”
“The energy was back on us and I saw them played well on this match,” Sablan added.
UST grabbed the lead, 15-11, in the opening quarter but UP stepped up to tie the score, 34-all, at halftime.
The España-based squad maintained their lead going into the last quarter, 59-53, through the combined effort of graduating players Lao and Subido.
Down by 10 points, 58-68, the Fighting Maroons cut the deficit to five through Jose Manuel’s impressive five-point output.
Manuel was supported by Andres Desiderio and Diego Dario to tie the game at 68-all, with four minutes and five seconds remaining in the final canto.
But the Growling Tigers managed to pull away after Basibas and De Guzman fired three points apiece to establish a six-point lead. The Fighting Maroons were unable to recover until the final buzzer sounded.
Manuel finished with 19 points, two rebounds, and two assists; Dario and Javier Gomez De Liano had 14 and 12 points, respectively. Desiderio had 10 markers, Noah Webb had nine points and Paolo Romero four points for UP.
In the second game, Adamson beat Ateneo De Manila University, 62-61, through Dawn Ochea’s crucial shot. The Falcons improved their win-loss record to 2-1 while the Blue Eagles’ fell to 1-2