The UST Growling Tigers squandered their third quarter seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter

, but regained their composure in the crucial minutes, en route to an 88-77 beatdown of the struggling University of the East Red Warriors, on Saturday, at The Mall of Asia Arena. The Red Warriors made a valiant attempt to secure win number two, but the Growling Tigers went on a 16-4 scoring rush to subdue them in the last three minutes of the game. UE had a chance to mount a comeback, holding the lead at 73-73 at the 3:59 mark, but failed to score in the last four minutes. The Warriors only managed to put up points – a triple courtesy of Dan Alberto – in the last 30 seconds of the game, when Coach Boycie Zamar and his boys were down seven points. “Speechless ako kasi yung mga bata gusto nila manalo for Jeric, naging positive sila, on my part, ilang araw na akong walang tulog eh, kakaisip nawala yung leader ko sa team”, said Coach Pido Jarencio, “mabigat yun, si Jeric, siya talaga ang leader ng team namin”. Both teams played without key players, as the Tigers were without Jeric Teng, who sat out due to a muscle injury he sustained in their game against NU last Wednesday, while the Warriors missed Charles Mammie, who was ineligible to play because of a one-game suspension. UST bucked Teng’s loss, as Karim Abdul and Aljon Mariano combined for 49 points, 25 rebounds, and seven assists, while swingman Ed Daquioag added 19 points. “Maraming nagstep-up this game, maski si Daquioag”, said Coach Jarencio. The Tigers improve to 3-1 in the standings, just half a game below the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, who sit atop the standings with a perfect 3-0 record. The Warriors continue on a downward spiral, garnering loss number three in four outings. The Tigers tried to take advantage of Charles Mammie’s absence, going up six points after Abdul repeatedly bullied his way to the post, en route to four easy points of the line. UE resorted to a group effort in defending the post, denying UST any easy scores after Abdul’s last free throw. The Red Warriors only scored their first points after Jay-Ar Sumido sank a triple at the 5:20 mark, 6-3. Clark Bautista fired a triple that ignited a 10-0 nothing run, which included another triple from Bautista, a three-point play by Abdul, and a split by Mariano. By the time they came to, UE was looking at a 16-5 deficit. Javier and Casajeros responded quickly by pumping five points from a three-point play and a jumper, respectively, and Tigers led by 16-10 at the end of the first, holding Sumang scoreless in the first 10 minutes of action. Javier gave the second quarter an unusual start, firing a triple from the right corner to cut the lead to three, 16-13. A jumper by Abdul and a lay-in by Ferrer gave UST a seven-point distance at 20-13, but triples by Ralf Olivarez and Gino Jumao-as sandwiched a split by Mariano to go within two points, 21-19. UE snared the lead as Olivarez again found himself open in the left corner, giving the lead to the Red Warriors for the first time in the game. UST neophyte Bryant So punched back with an up-and-under, earning himself a free throw and the lead for UST at 24-23. After a split by Ivan Hernandez, Jumao-As picked UST’s ballhandlers and zipped the pass to Javier who banked a lay-up to give UE a two-point edge at 26-24.

but Casajeros kept the points raining for UE by eking out a three-point play to tie the game at 69-all. 63-58. Teams traded baskets again.7 percent). UE slotman Jairold Flores committed an inadvertent unsportsmanlike foul on Mariano. Mariano continued his strong play. however. The Tigers added nine points out of 12 tries from the charity stripe. the Red Warriors weren’t far behind in the rebounding department. Olivarez scattered 12 points to lead the Warriors. he rebounded his own miss and dished to an open Ed Daquioag who knocked down a triple to make it a 34-32 game in favor of UST. The Warriors completed a 12-3 run after Sumang found Hernandez wide open in the weakside. Sumang was held to a solitary point after the half. 71-70. 67-58.The teams engaged each other in a tit-for-tat towards the end of the second quarter. who canned both free throws to make it a 72-71 affair. as Mariano scored another basket inside while Abdul added a point from the stripe. . 55-52. but Casajeros swiped the ball off a broken play to even things out at 34-34 just before the halftime buzzer sounded. A stab by Santos broke the deadlock at 50-48. Both teams logged eight two-point field goals apiece. and Daquioag added a point to up their lead to nine points. Casajeros looked to close the quarter with a play inside. who had scored only a point by halftime. 39-38. 60-54. UST. carving out three points off the hoop and the harm. After a split by Abdul. Abdul logged a double-double by the first half with 14 points and 12 rebounds. but Mariano completed a 12-4 run with three free throws after Casajeros fouled him on the last possession of the third canto. Abdul and Bautista scored four straight points to wedge a three-point lead between them and the Warriors. Despite fielding a line-up without Mammie. Jumao-As. tallying 25 boards in contrast to UST’s 26. drilling in five straight points – his first points of the game – off a lay-in and a triple to make it a 39-34 game. and Kim Lo for trashtalking. 63-56. Free throws by Sumang again gave UE the lead – the 13th lead change of the game – but UST blitzed to a crucial 12-1 run within the last three minutes to give them a 10-point lead with under a minute remaining. while UE continued to rely on running and shooting. 84-74. exploded for eight straight points off two triples and a lay-up to bring his point total to 19 points. but Sumang. Daquioag swiped a loose ball on their end of the court and flicked it. making two three-point shots out of three. followed by Bautista with six points off a 2-3 clip from downtown. Two free throws by Daquioag tried to contain the storm. By then. A putback by Sumang stopped the run. Sumang. as UST looked to capitalize on mismatches on the interior. on a foray to the hoop. Ferrer. but Abdul retaliated with another hook. 41-38. After the officials reviewed the tape. as a jumper by JM Noble countered a lay-in by Mariano. 41-41. they decided to award technical fouls to Santos. continued their run. while Sumang and Daquioag both connected on their shots from downtown to tie the game at 48. banking the ball home and sinking the free throw. which occurred after a UE miss. making five out of 12 (41. After a turn-around jumper by Olivarez at 52-51. Mariano and Abdul scored consecutive baskets inside to cut UE’s lead to a point. Sumang found a wide-open Javier on their end of the court to cut the UST lead to five points. Sumang picked up his scoring by the start of the third. while Javier chimed in with eight points and five rebounds. found Santos open to keep the lead at three. but Ferrer rifled a triple to steal the lead at 51-50. but the Warriors made up for it by shooting two more triples than UST.

Daquioag 19. Javier 10. Jumao-as 3. Olivarez followed suit with 15 points and five rebounds. spreading 20 points over the last two quarters. but they kept missing point blank baskets near the rim. Marata 0. Sumido 3. Tan 0.3 average over three games. Ferrer 9.UE still had time to get that elusive second win. Alberto 3. Sumang scored 21 points in a losing cause. A triple by reserve Dan Alberto gave them a slight ray of hope. but consecutive baskets by Daquioag and Mariano sealed the hard-fought win for the Tigers. 63-56. 34-34. Lo 0 UE – Sumang 21. Flores 2. So 3. while Javier added 10 points and seven rebounds. The scores: UST – Abdul 25. Noble 2. The 6’8” center has been leading the league in rebounds so far with a 15. Pe 0. Casajeros 9. Mariano 24. Bautista 8. Santos 6. 88-77 . Galanza 0 Quarter scoring: 16-10. Mammie was suspended after roughhousing Adamson forward Roider Cabrera in their previous game. and is currently leading his team in blocks with one block per game. Hernandez 3. Olivarez 15.