UP frustrates UST with 25-point beating, sixth-straight loss

By Ernest Martin Tuazon

Photo by Kenneth Cedric Landazabal/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigers (1–6) absorbed their sixth-straight defeat, ending the first round of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament with a 25-point beating to the reigning champions and top-seeded UP Fighting Maroons (6–1), 51–76, Saturday afternoon, at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

Tigers’ star Nic Cabañero, after notching only two points in the first half, breathed life into UST in the early parts of the fourth frame with 10 consecutive points and back-to-back makes from beyond the arc to trail by only 11, 49–60.

Since then, the Fighting Maroons never looked back as they went on a 10–0 run of their own, capped off by Gilas’ stalwart Carl Tamayo’s triple, steal, and layup to relieve the Maroons lead back to 21, 49–70.

Right out of the gate, UP held the Tigers to eight lone points in the opening frame, 8–19, with UST’s first field goal make coming at the 3:30 mark from returning big man Adama Faye’s AND1 conversion.

UST kept in step with the Fighting Maroons in the second salvo with contributions from head coach Bal David’s second-generation acquisitions in Richi Calimag and Kenji Duremdes. However, the Tigers still trailed UP by 14 at the half as Maroons rookie Ashon Andrews’ layup beat the buzzer, 24–38.

To start the third frame, UP blasted UST with a 19–5 run, courtesy of three triples in the salvo by Terrence Fortea to mount a comfortable 21-point lead against the Tigers, 37–58.

Alike their loss to the struggling FEU Tamaraws, the Tigers’ offensive woes continued as they shot a horrendous 17-of-61 from the field (27.9 percent) and only 3-of-22 (13.6 percent) from beyond the arc.

Faye in his first game back from suspension posted a double-double of 15 points (5-of-12, 41.7 percent) and 13 boards, while Cabañero notched 14 markers (6-of-17, 35.3 percent), six rebounds, two steals, and a block.

Five Growling Tigers who played did not score for UST, thanks to UP’s press and tightened defense.

The Scores:

UP (76) — Fortea 14, Lucero 12, Abadiano 9, Tamayo 9, Andrews 7, Alarcon 5, Diouf 4, Ramos 3, Spencer 3, Eusebio 3, Calimag 2, Lina 2, Galinato 2, Gonzales 1, Torculas 0

UST (51) — Faye 15, Cabañero 14, Lazarte 5, Calimag 5, Duremdes 3, Mantua 3, Manalang 2, Magdangal 2, Escubido 2, Manaytay 0, Pangilinan 0, Garing 0, Gesalem 0, Herrera 0

Quarterscores: 19–8, 38–24, 58–37, 76–51.



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