Last year’s runner-up University of Santo Tomas (UST) overpowered University of the Philippines (UP), 79-69, for its fourth win in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Aljon Mariano led UST with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals while Kevin Ferrer added 16 points and 10 re-bounds, and Cameroonian Karim Abdul and Clark Bautista combined for 26 points.
“It’s a good win going into our next game against Ateneo,” said Growling Tigers mentor Pido Jarencio referring to their last assignment in the first round of elimination against defending champion Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday.
The Fighting Maroons got 16 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists from Samuel Joseph Marata while rookie Kyles Lao and Chris Ball contributed nine and seven markers, respectively.
UST improved to 4-2 to take the solo second behind Far Eastern University (6-0) while UP remained winless in six games.
In the second game, De La Salle University survived Adamson University, 70-67, to force a four-way tie for the No. 3 spot.
Rookie Jason Perkins had a double-double 13 points and 13 rebounds and Jeron Teng banged in 12 markers and grabbed eight boards for the Green Archers.
La Salle joined Adamson, National University and Uni-versity of the East for the third position with 3-3 each.
In juniors, Mike Nieto scored 22 points and 13 boards to tow the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eaglets to an 85-75 win over the UP Integrated School Junior Maroons while the Far Eastern University-Diliman Baby Tamaraws clipped the Adamson Baby Falcons, 63-43.
Ateneo and FEU are in a two-way tie for No. 3 with 3-2 each behind National University (5-0) and De La Salle-Zobel (4-1). Adamson dropped to 1-4 while UPIS had 0-5.