UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas made up for a lackluster start with a huge defensive effort in the second half to beat Adamson, 67-62, on Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kevin Ferrer had 12 of his 17 points in the second half while Jeric Teng added 15 points for the Tigers, who remained undefeated after two games to join Far Eastern University at the top of the standings.
The Growling Tigers atoned for their cold start by turning the screws on defense, making seven of their 10 steals in the second half as they finally pulled away behind a 14-0 run in the third period.
Santo Tomas actually outscored the Falcons, 26-5, in a stretch bridging through the third and fourth quarters to grab a 55-43 advantage.
“Sobrang sama ng first half namin, nag-adjust lang ako nung second half. Awa ng Diyos, hindi bumibigay,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
The Falcons dropped their first game and now have a 1-1 win-loss slate.
“Alam nila na Adamson ang isa sa mga contenders this season. Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi tayo puwedeng matalo para at least maka-una na tayo sa first round,” Jarencio added.
Jarencio also credited the team’s defense for the turnaround that saw Aljon Mariano pull off three steals and Karim Abdul and reserve guard Kim Lo two each.
“Depensa ang nagpanalo sa amin. Nag-full-court press kami, dami naming steals,” said Jarencio.
Ferrer’s steal and breakaway slam made it 63-53 for UST with 1:29 left in the fourth.
Don Trollano hit back-to-back triples while Roider Cabrera hit another with 30.5 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 62-64, but Teng came up big with a jumper with 16.8 seconds left to end the threat.
Jericho Cruz had 15 points while Ingrid Sewa had 13 points, but all of it came in the first half. Adamson lost despite enjoying a huge 52-39 edge in rebounds.
UST (67) – Ferrer 17, Teng 15, Bautista 9, Mariano 8, Daquioag 7, Abdul 6, Lo 5, So 0, Sheriff 0, Pe 0, Hainga 0.
Adamson (62) – Cruz 15, Sewa 13, Cabrera 11, Brondial 9, Trollano 6, Julkipli 4, Petilos 3, Inigo 1, Rios 0, Monteclaro 0, Agustin 0.
Quarterscores: 18-22; 26-34; 45-41; 67-62.