The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers grabbed a twice-to-beat advantage going into the knockout phase after trouncing the Adamson University (ADU) Soaring Falcons, 78-63, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) senior men’s basketball competition at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Kevin Ferrer led UST with 25 points via 9-out-of-15 shooting in the field plus 10 rebounds. The Growling Tigers, after posting its 11th win in the competition, replaced the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on the top spot.
After a strong offensive in the first period, the Growling Tigers established a 37-26 lead at halftime.
The Falcons, because of a sluggish attacking tempo failed to stop UST’s onslaught before the end of regulation.
Louie Vigil finished with 15 points while Ed Daquioag added 11 points plus eight boards.
Pape Sarr led Adamson with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Ngayong na-achieve na namin yung twice-to-beat advantage, we do not plan to stop there,” UST head coach Bong dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz added that they are now planning to go back to training to bolster their chances of entering this year’s UAAP finals.
In the second game, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers outplayed the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 72-68.
La Salle used pesky defense to limit UP to mere six points, soundly outscoring their foes, 19-6 in the opening quarter.
The Fighting Maroons managed to reduce the Green Archers’ lead to 27-26 at halftime.
The Diliman-based cagers sustained their counterattack in the third canto grabbing the lead 49-52 going into the final period.
UP’s offense continued to flourish in the initial minutes of the fourth quarter but Prince Rivero’s jumpshot paved the way for the Green Archers’ 15-0 run resulting in a 69-60, lead for La Salle with 2:54 left in the game. It was a downward spiral for the Fighting Maroons until the final buzzer sounded.
With their sixth win in the tournament, DLSU now shares the fourth spot with the National University (NU) Bulldogs that also have six wins and seven losses.
Rivero notched 18 points and 16 boards while Tomas Torres contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Green Archers.
Jeron Teng was La Salle’s top scorer in the match with 20 points.
The duo of Jose Manuel and Dave Moralde recorded a combined output of 29 points for the Fighting Maroons.
“They showed tremendous heart in this game,” head coach Juno Sauler said of his wards’ fourth quarter run that sealed their victory.