VETERANS Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer took charge as University of Santo Tomas survived a hard-fighting Adamson side, 70-64, for its first win in Season 78 of the UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.
Daquioag finished with a game-high 28 points while Ferrer had 24 for the Tigers, who joined opening game winner University of the Philippines for the early lead.
The Tigers appeared ready to cruise to the win after leading, 57-47, early in the final quarter, before the Falcons suddenly came back to life and answered with a 12-4 run to threaten at 59-61 inside the final two minutes of play.
The Falcons were still within striking distance following a basket by Joseph Nalos, 67-64, but Louie Vigil came off the bench to make 3-of-4 from the foul line that secured the win for the Espana-based squad and foiled the debut of Adamson coach Mike Fermin.
Vigil finished with nine, Karim Abdul added seven, and rookie Marvin Lee finished with two as the rest of the Tigers failed to score.
“I was expecting na madami ang mag-score, but unfortunately si (Kent) Lao medyo bad day, si (Louie) Vigil was there, and si Karim (Abdul) medyo di pa hundred percent,” said UST coach Bong dela Cruz.
The Tigers went off to a fiery start and raced to a 22-5 lead.
But they suddenly fell silent in the second quarter and scored just five points that allowed the Falcons to claw within 25-28 at the break.
“Andoon na ang opening day jitters, lamang kami sa first quarter tapos humabol ang Adamson sa second quarter. Doon na humirap ang game,” dela Cruz noted.
Nalos made 18 points for Adamson, while Dawn Ochea added 12.
UST (70) - Daquioag 28, Ferrer 24, Vigil 9, Abdul 7, Lee 2, Subido 0, Sheriff 0, Lao 0, Suarez 0, Huang 0.
Adamson (64) - Nalos 18, Ochea 12, Garcia 8, Capote 7, Margallo 5, Villanueva 4, Tungcab 3, Miranda 3, Bernardo 2, Sarr 2, Polican 0, Ng 0, Escalambre 0, Fernandez 0.
Quarterscores: 22-5; 28-25; 51-45; 70-64.