THE University of Santo Tomas Tigers are losing games - and losing supporters.
Only a handful of UST fans showed on Wednesday for a game against Adamson, which rallied late to pull off a close 75-70 win that left the Tigers with three games to win their first of the UAAP season.
Outside the usual UST contingent made up of players’ and coaches’ relatives and friends as well as the school pep squad which sat near the team’s bench, fans numbering no more than a hundred were seen on the school's side of the cavernous Mall of Asia Arena.
Those few who bothered to showed up in the UST gallery nearly saw the Tigers pull off their first win of the season as they led the Final Four-bound Falcons, 64-63, following Oliver De Guzman's jumper with just 2:23 minutes left.
Santo Tomas, however, went back to its old ways as Jerrick Ahanmisi took over in the clutch for the Falcons to keep the Espana-based squad winless in 11 matches.
UST coach Boy Sablan later declined to be interviewed as the Growling Tigers moved three losses away from the first winless season on the collegiate league in four years.
Nevertheless, Adamson coach Franz Pumaren said UST dangerous because it is no longer playing under pressure after getting eliminated from the Final Four picture.
“It’s so hard to play against them. Partly, my players probably their mentality coming into this game, they are playing a winless team, they were probably looking at UST as just giving the game for us,” said Pumaren.
As if the Tigers' woes are not enough, they are set to face reigning champion La Salle on Saturday, and unbeaten season leader Ateneo on November 4.
UST ends its season with a match against University of the East on November 12.