University of Santo Tomas (2-1) squeaked past Adamson University (0-3), 50-49, in an atrocious display of basketball during Saturday’s University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 men’s basketball action at the Mall of Asia Arena.
On the other hand, National University (3-1) gives Ateneo de Manila University (3-1) their first taste of defeat this season via a 64-60 finish in the second game.
Troy Rosario scored 16 points with eight rebounds, followed by Alfred Aroga’s 10 points for the Bulldogs, which bounced back from a stinging endgame loss to defending champion De La Salle University on Wednesday and spoiled Arvin Tolentino’s third consecutive impressive outing of 17 points and nine rebounds.
Both UST and Adamson put up dizzying numbers during the contest – including a woeful 28 percent field goal shooting apiece, and a combined total of 40 turnovers.
However, it was the Falcons’ terrible one-for-12 shooting in the fourth quarter that led to UST’s 10-4 surge in the final 10 minutes that proved to be the gamechanger. Rookie center Matthew Aquino knocked down the team’s lone field goal with 4:42 left in the contest, which was soon followed a late-game drought.
Kent Lao, who exploded with a 14 point barrage during their first win against Far Eastern University a week ago, nailed the game-winning free throw with one second left after missing three previous freebies to give the Growling Tigers the advantage.
However, the winless Falcons had one last crack at the basket for the win – an alley-oop play from an inbound by Jessie Pedrosa to a leaping Jansen Rios off a backdoor cut that resulted in a flubbed layup at the buzzer.
Despite the win, UST Coach Bong De La Cruz was left puzzled at his players’ performance – one which he would have to address in the team’s upcoming practice sessions.
“Siguro nafrustrate kami sa defense ng Adamson. Ang ganda ng nilaro nila. We had a bad game again, so kailangan namin mag-focus. Ewan ko kung anong nangyari, hindi ko alam kung ano ang nangyari sa amin after a good game against FEU. Kailangan naming bumalik sa practice, makita ang mga mistakes, and to improve sa next game against UP,” De La Cruz said.
Rookie forward Pedrosa led the way for the winless Falcons with 10 points.
Chiefs blast Altas, nab sole posession of second place
Arellano University seizes control of second place, following a 97-85 dismantling of University of Perpetual Help in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 90 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Five Chiefs players scored in double-digits, led by Jasper Agovida’s career-high total off 22 points with 10 rebounds, while John Pinto added 19 points – 15 during the second half – with six rebounds and eight assists.
The Legarda-based squad moves up to 5-1, within striking distance of four-time defending champion San Beda College.
The Chiefs rallied in the third period from a 41-45 halftime deficit and finally getting the lead courtesy of a three from Levi Hernandez, 62-60 on the 1:33 mark of the third period. Hernandez finished with 14 points while Jiovani Jalalon contributed 16 points and seven assists.
“We tried to work harder. Meron kaming binago sa depensa. Nag-focus talaga kami sa depensa. It was so close at nag-rally kami sa 4th quarter,” said Coach Jerry Cordinera after his team’s courageous run in the final quarter.
“At first I knew we have a chance to do good this season. I didn’t expect we’ll play this great,” added Codinera.
Earl Thompson regained his form with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Harold Arboleda finished with 24 markers and 14 boards, but their efforts could not stop the late surge of the Chiefs that had center Prince Caperal playing limited minutes due to early foul trouble.
The loss slides the Altas down to 3-2, tying San Sebastian College-Recoletos for fourth place, midway through the tournament’s first round. (With reports from Ramon Rafael Bonilla)