Tigers end losing drought with gritty win against JRU to start FilOil campaign
By Joie Frances Timbas
The UST Growling Tigers are off to a good start in the FilOil EcoOil 15th Pre-season Cup as they lambasted the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 86–78 on Monday, July 25, at the Filoil EcoOil Center.
The Tigers’ previous win was back in April during the second round of UAAP Season 84 against the University of the East Red Warriors. It became their last win of the season as they concluded their campaign with a 3–11 standing.
After their Builders-Warehouse squad in the PBA- D League’s one-point loss to Adalem Construction-St. Clare last Thursday, the UST Growling Tigers closed out this game as they rallied in the last frame to clinch the win with a decent lead, 86–78.
Back in the first quarter, the Tigers and the Bombers commenced their first game of the season with a low-scoring quarter that concluded with the former trailing, 10–12.
Unlike the first quarter, things heated up as the Tigers granted the Heavy Bombers a decent lead and mini-run, 10–17. UST was unable to score in the second frame until Bryan Santos’ two consecutive triples which immediately disposed of JRU’s momentum.
Santos continued to shoot the lights out with two more field goals made to put the game at a deadlock, 22-all. The Tigers ended the half with a one-point lead, 37–36. Santos scored 17 out of the 27 points that UST racked up in the second frame.
In the third frame, the two teams continued to battle each other neck to neck. Santos cooled down but the Tiger’s ball distribution improved as the Tigers maintained the game at 59-all by the end of the quarter despite being outscored 22–23 in the said frame.
UST’s win was composed of four Tigers scoring in double digits as they showed their three-point shooting strength.
Bryan Santos off-the-bench notched 20 points, shot 70% from the field, and a torching five out of six shots made beyond the arc. Sherwin Concepcion also scored 20 points making half of his field goal attempts, 7/14. Six of his total field goals made were from the arc.
Rookie Kean Baclaan contributed 12 points and nine assists, while Tigers team captain Paul Manalang with 10 points, three assists, and three rebounds.
The Tigers look to carry their momentum against the mighty Lyceum of the Philippines Pirates on August 3, Wednesday, at the same venue. All of the FilOil games will be conducted at the FilOil EcoOil Center.