UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas extended its winning streak to five games with a 65-57 win over reigning champion National University on Saturday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Growling Tigers trailed early, 4-11, but wrested the lead at 20-14 before the first quarter could end. UST also survived a rally that saw NU wrest the lead, 55-54, by finishing the game with an 11-2 run.
Their eighth win in nine outings enabled the Tigers to keep their share of first place with Far Eastern University.
UST also avenged its lone loss of the season - close 54-55 defeat to NU in the first round.
“Nakabawi na kami,” said UST coach Bong Dela Cruz. “Nung first round, tinalo nila kami. ‘Yun ‘yung battlecry namin, makabawi sa kanila.”
“Pero matagal pa ‘yung tournament,” Dela Cruz said.
Kevin Ferrer had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Karim Abdul also scored 13 points. Ed Daquioag added 10 markers in a balanced UST scoring attack.
Gelo Alolino scored a game-high 20 points for the Bulldogs, leading the team back from 14 points down with a run he himself capped with three-pointer that put NU ahead, 55-52, with 4:11 left in the fourth.
Louie Vigil, however, stopped the bleeding for UST with a layup while Daquioag followed with a tough drive to kick off the Tigers' game-ending run.
NU, held to a single field goal in the endgame, lost its third straight game and fell to 3-6.
UST (65) — Abdul 13, Ferrer 13, Daquioag 10, Bonleon 8, Vigil 8, Lao 7, Lee 6, Faundo 0, Sheriff 0, Subido 0.
NU (57) — Alolino 20, Aroga 14, Alejandro 7, Javelona 6, Diputado 4, Celda 2, Salim 2, Tansingco 2, Abatayo 0, Javillonar 0, Morido 0, Neypes 0.
Quarterscores: 20-14, 35-23, 51-40, 65-57.