UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas scored the final seven points of the game to beat Adamson 61-60 in another come-from-behind win on Sunday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Karim Abdul had 18 points and 12 rebounds including the marginal basket that sent the Tigers to the top spot with a 6-1 win-loss record by virtue of their victory over four-time defending champion Ateneo (6-1) in the first round.
Abdul scored on a post move over Rodney Brondial with 51.1 seconds left in the fourth to complete UST’s comeback.
The Tigers trailed by nine points, 48-57, with six-and-a-half minutes to play in the fourth and was still behind by six points, 54-60, with 3:22 left in the game before staging the big fightback.
Adamson led by as many as 11 points, 37-26, to start the third period.
“Nandoon na ’yung attitude of not giving up,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio. “Hangga’t may oras, laban pa rin.”
Come-from-behind wins have been the trademark of the Tigers’ campaign so far, having posted similar victories against Ateneo and National University in the first round.
“Tumibay na kami sa sitwasyon na ganyan. Marami ng laro na end game, nananalo kami at hindi bumibigay,” said Jarencio.
Aljon Mariano made all his 12 points in the third quarter to give UST a fighting chance in the game as the Tigers trailed by just three points, 47-50, entering the fourth.
Allan Etrone nailed a three-pointer for a 60-54 Adamson lead but the Falcons’ top scorer Eric Camson soon suffered cramps, opening the way for the Tigers.
Kevin Ferrer hit a putback while Jeric Fortuna buried a huge triple with 1:25 remaining in the fourth. Ryan Monteclaro missed a triple for Adamson to set the stage for Abdul’s game-winning triple.
Camson returned to the game with 5.4 seconds to play in the game to take a stab at the potential game-winning basket but his shot hit nothing but air.
UST (61)—Abdul 18, Mariano 12, Fortuna 12, Bautista 8, Vigil 6, Lo 3, Ferrer 2, Pe 0, Daquioag 0, Afuang 0.
ADAMSON (60)—Camson 19, Brondial 15, Etrone 10, Cabrera 10, Monteclaro 6, Rios 0, Petolos 0, Julkipli 0, Cruz 0, Cabigas 0, Abrigo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-13; 26-33; 47-50; 61-60.