Kevin Ferrer and Karim Abdul delivered big in the second half to power University of Santo Tomas’ 85-76 win over Far Eastern University (FEU) on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’6 Cameroonian center Abdul tallied 10 of his 23 points in the second half plus five rebounds and three assists while Ferrer finished with 21 points, six rebounds and a steal. It was the Growling Tigers’ 10th win in 13 games.
Ferrer had to go to the locker room at the end of the third period to take a few minutes of rest after experiencing palpitation. He returned to the game in the middle of fourth period.
“I think it was just the two bars of imported chocolate that I ate before the game,” said Ferrer.
Louie Vigil and Marion Bonleon finished with 13 points apiece while Ed Daquioag posted 11 points also for the Growling Tigers.
“We just played great defense and I’m glad we connected in the second half,” said UST coach Bong Dela Cruz.
UST outscored FEU in the third period 24-14 to establish a 69-59 lead at the start of final quarter.
FEU’s win-loss record dropped to 10-2 but maintain its hold of the No. 1 spot.
In the first game, Cameroonian Pape Sarr registered a 20-20 output to help Adamson University pull off a slim 74-71 victory over University of the East (UE). It was the Falcons’ third win this season.
Sarr’s shooting prowess in the shaded lane wrecked UE’s defensive frontline all-throughout the game. He finished with 22 points, including 11 in the second quarter, and 20 rebounds. Adamson improved its win-loss record to 3-10.
Combo guard Frederick Tungcab posted 14 points and six rebounds while Cebuano guard Joseph Nalos had 11 points plus five rebounds and five assists for Adamson.
Though out of the Final Four race, the Falcons displayed great tenacity foiling the Red Warriors’ fourth quarter rally. Adamson started the final quarter with a comfortable lead 65-54, but UE trimmed down the gap to 71-72 through Emil Palma’s effort with only 36 seconds left.
The Red Warriors failed to score after the Falcons’ turnover in the dying seconds. Nalos made two free throws with only 17 ticks to go that extended Adamson’s lead to 74-71.
“It is a good morale-booster win for us. I told the players that we should get the respect of other teams. We beat UP but we lost to them in the second round, then we beat De La Salle University,” said Adamson coach Mike Fermin during a post game interview.
“We lost to FEU via wide margin though in our last game, so we really needed to win today. I’m happy that we’ve won. We really need to get the respect of other teams,” he added.
Clark Derige scored 17 points plus 10 rebounds, while Palma had 11 points to lead the Red Warriors whose Final Four hope was crushed. It was UE’s eighth loss in 12 games for a 4-8 win-loss record.
Despite committing more turnovers than the Red Warriors (27-17), the Falcons out-rebounded their opponent (56-48) and got more steals (6-4). Adamson also shot well in the field than UE (40.32 percent – 31.82 percent) and recorded more free throws made (21-10).