UNIVERSITY of the East picked up its first victory in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament, beating University of Santo Tomas, 96-91, on Saturday basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alvin Pasaol had another scoring explosion with 32 points and got support from Philip Manalang and Mark Olayon to pull off the win to improve to 1-6 at the close of the first round.
The Tigers are at the bottom with a 0-7 record.
It was a big win for Red Warriors, who finally claimed a win after Pasaol scored 49 points against La Salle.
"The effort against La Salle was really awesome. We used it as a springboard for our 'finals game,' said UE coach Derrick Pumaren.
Manalang had 20 points, seven assists and two steals, while Olayon tallied 15 points for the Red Warriors.
Also contributing was Jason Varilla, who also had 15 points. UE led by as many as 15 points then overcame repeated rallies by UST in the fourth.
With the game tied at 85, Pasaol made a basket before Olayon sank a difficult fadeaway with 2:39 left for a four-point UE lead.
UST was still able to slice the gap to one but UE responded on both ends of the floor as a block by Olayon on UST's Marvin Lee led to a Pasaol fastbreak lay-up with 22 seconds to play.
"We played hard. We know that it's not going to be easy. We know UST is going to come back and I'm really happy with how the guys responded. We didn't fold up and we didn't put our heads down.
"We were able to battle the comeback of UST. I'm proud with the way they played," said Pumaren.
Lee had 20 points, while Steve Akomo added 19 points and 18 rebounds for the Growling Tigers.
UE 96 - Pasaol 32, Manalang 20, Olayon 15, Varilla 15, Bartolome 5, Acuno 4, Abanto 2, Conner 2, Maloles 1, Derige 0, Cullar 0.
UST 91 - Lee 20, Akomo 19, Sta. Ana 13, Faundo 12, Caunan 10, De Guzman 4, Lorenzana 3, Soriano 2, Romero 2, Huang 2, Garcia 2, Escalambre 2, Macasaet 0, Kwawukumey 0.
Quarterscores: 27-20; 54-43; 75-71; 96-91.