KEVIN Ferrer scored 18 points, nailing back-to-back triples in the endgame, as University of Santo Tomas clipped Far Eastern University, 69-67, on Sunday for its first win in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Karim Abdul added 16, while Kent Lao came off the bench to score 14 points in a rousing win by the Tigers (1-1) after losing their first game that marked record lows offensively.
Ferrer made the big baskets in the end, his two straight 3-pointers highlighting an 8-0 run that gave UST a 67-62 lead with 1:57 left.
The UST forward also intercepted a pass from Achie Inigo that led to an uncontested lay-up by Lao for a 69-65 lead with 19.5 seconds to put the win in the bag.
It was the first UAAP win of head coach Bong de la Cruz, the former assistant tapped as replacement after the departure of Pido Jarencio last season.
The Tigers bowed to National University, 59-40, but it appears the Tigers have made the necessary adjustments.
“Napagusapan namin ’yung mga mistakes. Pinakita nila kung paano talaga maglaro ang Tigers,” said De la Cruz.
UST led 35-28 in the third quarter but FEU scored six straight points to turn the game into a close fight. The Tamaraws appeared to have turned the tide with two free throws by Mac Belo for a 58-55 lead.
But the Tigers closed the game with a 14-9 finish to grab the victory and join FEU in the middle of the team standings.
UST (69) – Ferrer 18, Abdul 16, Lao 14, Subido 6, Daquioag 5, Mariano 4, Vigil 4, Sheriff 2, Basibas 0, Gayosa 0, Lo 0, Pe 0.
FEU (67) – Belo 19, Tolomia 14, Ru. Escoto 8, Hargrove 8, Tamsi 5, Inigo 5, Cruz 4, Jose 2, Dennison 2, Delfinado 0, Pogoy 0, Denila 0, Ri. Escoto 0, David 0.
Quarterscores: 12-13; 31-26; 53-50; 69-67.