UNIVERSITY of the East stunned University of Santo Tomas, 91-77, on Thursday to keep alive its semifinal hopes in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Clark Derige scored 26 points as Red Warriors, who led by as many as 14, improved their win-loss record to 4-7, and stayed within striking distance of idle La Salle (5-6) and National University (5-7) in the race for the No. 4 spot in the Final Four.
UST was looking to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four as the Growling Tigers slipped to 9-3. They go into their marquee game against league-leader Far Eastern University on a two-game skid.
“As I’ve told the boys, we have to play (with) a sense of urgency,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren. “We know that we still have a chance of making it to the Final Four and maybe a tie for the last spot.”
Derige, a second-year player from Quirino Province, had nine points in the fourth period as the Red Warriors easily handled a UST run in the fourth period.
Karim Abdul had 25 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort for the Growling Tigers. Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer were limited to 11 and 10 points each in the game.
The game started with Paul Varilla scoring an own goal, the basket of which was credited at first by UE but was later reverted back to UST.
UE 91 - Derige 26, Javier 13, P. Varilla 10, Abanto 10, Batiller 9, Charcos 8, Manalang 6, Palma 4, Gagate 2, J. Varilla 2, Sta. Ana 1.
UST 77 - Abdul 25, Daquioag 11, Ferrer 10, Vigil 9, Lee 9, Lao 6, Sheriff 4, Bonleon 2, Subido 1, Garrido 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15; 39-38; 62-52; 91-77.