UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas connected on seven three-pointers in a huge third quarter en route to a 77-61 win over La Salle on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Louie Vigil and Kyle Suarez led the way as the Tigers outscored the Green Archers in the third, 29-13, to turn the game around on the way to their fifth win in six outings.
UST used a 12-0 run to end the first half to trim a 14-point deficit to just, 31-33.
The hot shooting continued in the third, with Kevin Ferrer on the bench with three fouls, and UST went on to take a share of the lead with idle Far Eastern University.
Ferrer scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to help UST keep its lead. Karim Abdul had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals, while Ed Daquiaog added 11 points.
Vigil had 10 points, making 2 of 5 shots from beyond the arc. Suarez, a transferee from University of the Philippines, had nine points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range.
UST shot a total 11-of-24 from the 3-point line.
UST coach Bong de la Cruz said their offensive explosion was backed by their stingy defense in the second half.
“Naka-recover kami sa defense. Na-execute lang namin ‘yung game plan namin sa defense. Maraming nag-step up,” said De la Cruz.
The Green Archers saw their two-game winning streak snapped and hold a 3-3 record going into their match against archrival Ateneo on Sunday.
Jeron Teng had 13 points while Joshua Torralba scored 12 for the Green Archers.
UST 77 - Ferrer 17, Abdul 13, Daquioag 11, Vigil 10, Suarez 9, Lee 7, Bonleon 6, Sheriff 4, Abdurasad 0, Arana 0, Faundo 0, Garrido 0, Huang 0, Lao 0, Subido 0.
La Salle 61 - Teng 13, Torralba 12, Rivero 10, Torres 8, Caracut 5, Perkins 5, Sargent 4, Muyang 2, Navarro 2, Tratter 0.
Quarterscores: 12-18; 31-33; 60-46; 77-61.