UAAP: Tigers top Warriors, will get at least a playoff for second place
(Updated 5:04pm) Three quarters of firepower was more than enough to sustain the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.
UST shook off a slow start to bury the University of the East Red Warriors with a flurry of baskets, 87-75, Thursday at the SM MOA Arena, as the 75th UAAP season's elimination round draws near its end.
Jeric Teng scored eight points in a decisive 13-0 run in the final period to help UST put down a feisty Warriors team. All in all, Teng scored 17 of his career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter.
With the victory, the Tigers finished the regular season with a 10-4 record and are assured of at least a playoff for second place and the twice-to-beat advantage that comes along with it, should the FEU Tamaraws win on Sunday in their rematch against the NU Bulldogs.
Regardless of that possible playoff however, their 10-4 finish is the best record of a Pido Jarencio-helmed UST squad.
UE on the other hand, wrapped up their campaign at 3-11, the same score card they had at the end of Season 74.
"Marami pa kaming chamba," said Jarencio after his team bucked a slow start. "Noong pina-press [defense] ko, medyo nakuha namin ang timing namin."
"After we lost to Ateneo, we just said we can't lose anymore," said Teng, who expressed relief at the win.
Karim Abdul tallied 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while Aljon Mariano and Clark Bautista notched 15 points apiece and combined for 12 rebounds. Jeric Fortuna had two points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
The game got off to a lukewarm start as teams struggled in the halfcourt. Scoring picked up midway as UE connected on two jumpers from JR Sumido and Chris Javier. Roy Villarias buried the Warriors' second trey in the last two minutes to break into double digits.
Karim Abdul scored eight points in the first quarter as the Tigers trailed, 12-10, after one.
Neither team could connect from the field in the second quarter. In consolation, players were sent to the line instead, where Sumang and Ivan Hernandez combined for a 3-of-4 clip. However, the Tigers attempted more shots, and combined for 4-of-8 while still trailing, 15-14.
UST scored the first field goals in the quarter in emphatic fashion, a fast break dunk by Abdul at the 4:09 mark. Abdul, Jeric Teng and Aljon Mariano combined for 14 points in a 18-7 blast, and the Tigers closed the half with a double-digit lead, 32-22.
In the third quarter, the Warriors shut down the shaded area and forced UST to convert from outside. The Tigers obliged as Teng, Kevin Ferrer, Clark Bautista knocked down a trey each. But UE scored fast and often, catching the Tigers off-guard in transition. Adrian Santos and Sumang had five apiece, as the latter orchestrated a 16-9 run. The Warriors drew within three, 41-38, on a fast break layup by Santos with under four minutes to play.
But in the last four minutes, the Tigers found a way to score inside as they made six of their last twelve points in the shaded area, courtesy of Abdul and Mariano. Santos scored seven of UE's last 11 points as the Warriors faced a 55-49 deficit heading into the fourth.
After a short exchange in the final period, the momentum briefly swung in UE's favor as an unsportsmanlike foul was called on Abdul. Sumido made both ensuing free throws, and Sumang hit a three-ball from the top of the circle to cut the lead to three, 60-57.
However, UE tripped themselves with needless fouls and sloppy passes. That resulted in a 13-0 Tigers run that put them up by 16 points, with 5:12 left in the game.
The Red Warriors fought on however, as Sumang, Santos and Sumido kept pouring on the points. A jumper by Sumang made it a 10-point game with 1:31 left, and after a split at the line by Aljon Mariano, Sumang connected anew to make it 84-75 with 49 seconds left.
UST connected from downtown on a 6-for-21 clip, or 28.6 percent, while UE made 8-of-25, or 32 percent. The Warriors paid for their turnovers (20, versus 12 by UST) as the Tigers blasted them with a 23-9 margin on turnover points.
Roi Sumang led his team with 22 points and seven assists. JR Sumido added 19 points, while Adrian Santos notched 16 points and 14 rebounds.
After their win, UST learned that their protest against Ateneo had been denied by the UAAP board, preventing them from having an opportunity to snatch the number one seed.
The Tigers mauled the Warriors in their first round meeting, 85-69. - AMD, GMA News
UST 87: Teng 26, Abdul 22, Mariano 15, Bautista 15, Ferrer 4, Lo 2, Fortuna 2, Vigil 1, Pe 0, Daquioag 0, Afuang 0
UE 75: Sumang 22, Sumido 19, Santos 16, Villarias 8, Hernandez 5, Flores 3, Javier 2, Belleza 15, Olayon 0, Duran 0
Quarter scoring: 10-12, 32-22, 55-49, 87-75
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