UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas finally tasted the winning feeling on Saturday as the Growling Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 73-69 win over National University in the UAAP Season 79 basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Sophomore guard Marvin Lee was firing on all cylinders, catapulting the Tigers to their first victory in nearly a month.
The Tigers finally regained their form, improving their win-loss record to 3-7 with their first victory since September 17 when they defeated University of the Philippines in the first round.
The Bulldogs absorbed their third straight loss to fall to 4-5.
Lee topscored for the Tigers with 22 points, making 5 of 7 shots from beyond the arc, while Louie Vigil pumped in 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Jon Sheriff had an impressive performance on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, four assists, and six of the Tigers’ 12 steals.
“It’s all about teamwork and team defense,” said UST coach Boy Sablan. “Nag-trabaho ‘yung mga bata. Gusto nilang manalo. Pinakita nila na gusto nilang manalo.”
Matt Salem had 20 points but the Bulldogs could not stop the bleeding ahead of the second-round match with unbeaten La Salle on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs dropped to fifth place in the standings, while the Growling Tigers climbed to seventh.
UST 73 — Lee 22, Vigil 20, Sheriff 19, Faundo 4, Lao 2, Arana 2, Subido 2, Basibas 2, Afoakwah 0, Huang 0, De Guzman 0, Macasaet 0.
NU 69 — Salem 20, Aroga 13, R. Diputado 12, Gallego 8, Sinclair 8, Alejandro 3, Salim 3, Mosqueda 2, Morido 0, C. Diputado 0, Rangel 0, Go 0, Pate 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14; 34-34; 54-47; 73-69.