UNIVERSITY of the East (UE) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) started the second round of University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 men’s basketball tournament on a high note by posting wins against separate opponents on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Red Warriors beat the Fighting Maroons 68-48, making sure there would be no bonfire celebration for the University of the Philippines this time. The Growling Tigers thumped the Adamson University Falcons, 61-59.
Center Charles Mammie, 6’8, of Sierra Leone dominated the boards with 15 points, 14 rebounds plus four blocks. Guard Dan Alberto posted 11 points and Mark Olayon 10 points for UE.
“We need to catch up at the No. 2 and No. 3 position, so games are very important and we need to take each game quarter by quarter,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren, who did not field starting point guard Shej Roi Sumang because of a sprained ankle.
“UP is coming from a win and we just can’t allow them to run and beat us. Mammie stepped up to the challenges.”
The Fighting Maroons, who drew 19 points from Mikee Reyes, dropped to 1-7 win-loss after snapping their 27-game losing streak on Saturday when they routed the Falcons.
In the first game, guard Louie Vigil, who posted 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, sank a go-ahead jumper with only 1:51 left to regain UST’s lead at 60-59. Aljon Mariano made one of his two free throws with seven ticks left for a two-point advantage.
Adamson’s win-loss record dropped to 0-8.
“Adamson employed good defense in the second half and we couldn’t make a basket. I’m happy that we made our shots in crunch time,” said UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz, who got 11 points from Ed Daquioag.
After leading by 35-29, at halftime, the offense of the Growling Tigers deteriorated in the third period allowing the Falcons to tie the game at 52-all when the final frame begins.
But the Growling Tigers managed to reemploy tight defense in the fourth quarter en route to a victory.
Kevin Ferrer and Henri Subido added eight points each for UST.
UST and UE both now have an improved 4-4 win-loss record.