Banking on Zach Huang and Soulemane Chabi Yo, University of Santo Tomas (UST) vented its ire on University of the East (UE), 101-73, to reclaim the solo third in Season 82 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Veteran forward Huang turned in a career-high 22 points built on six triples while Beninese center Chabi Yo pumped in a double-double 22 markers and 14 rebounds as the Growling Tigers ended a two-game losing skid and regained solo hold of No. 3 with a 5-4 record.
“We were able to release the pressure,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo, whose team unloaded a season-high scoring output anchored on 14 triples to bounce back from back-to-back defeats to Ateneo De Manila University, 52-66, and De La Salle University, 77-92, last week.
“This game we played more relaxed. I just told them to go back to having fun while playing and enjoying the season,” added the one-time UAAP champion mentor.
Earlier, National University (NU) completed a season sweep of Far Eastern University (FEU) after pulling off an 85-79 overtime victory.
Sophomore guard Dave Ildefonso fired six of his game-best 27 points in the extension period as the Bulldogs repeated their 61-39 win over the Tamaraws in the first round.
NU rose to 2-7 but stayed at No. 8.
Rookie forward Sherwin Concepcion and transferee guard Brent Paraiso added 10 points apiece in the España-based squad’s blowout triumph.
UST uncorked a 37-10 blast bridging the first two periods behind Chabi Yo and Concepcion to turn an 18-18 deadlock into a massive 55-28 halftime lead.
The Tigers notched their biggest buffer at 72-38 on Huang’s three-pointer at the midway mark of the third frame.
It was virtually over from there as UST only allowed UE to close within 20 points for the rest of the game.
Senegalese big man Alex Diakhite had 24 points and 12 boards, Neil Tolentino had 11 markers even as Philip Manalang and Rey Suerte had 10 points each for UE, which fell anew to No. 7 with a 3-6 sheet.
The Red Warriors also saw its two-win streak end.
Ace guard Ildefonso hit five triples on his way to a scoring eruption while also pulling down 11 rebounds for NU.
Senegalese center Issa Gaye registered a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards while John Lloyd Clemente chipped in 15 markers and eight rebounds in the win.
Barkley Eboña had 15 points even as Wendell Comboy and Royce Alforque had 11 markers each for FEU, which slid to No. 5 with a 4-5 card and had its two-win streak snapped.