For 12 straight games at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball tournament, the UST Growling Tigers lost against the ADMU Blue Eagles. For the first time since August 4, 2007, the Tigers beat the Eagles.
The Blue Eagles who are gunning for their 5th straight title dominated the first half of the game. They led by 15 points at the end of the first and second quarter. Their solid lead however was easily wiped out in ten minutes as the Growling Tigers came clawing out of the dugout and outscored the 4-time defending champions 30-11 in the third quarter. Comeback kid Aljon Mariano scored 13 of his 21 points in the decisive quarter to even singlehandedly outscore the vaunted Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Tigers also controlled the final period and took a 69-62 lead going into the last 2 minutes of the game. The Eagles made a last-ditch rally to try and salvage the game as they made a 5-0 run behind a three-point basket by Juami Tiongson and a putback by Kiefer Ravena to bring the Eagles within 2, 67-69. Karim Abdul answered for UST by scoring on a drive to bring up the lead to 4 and make it a 2-possession game with 10 seconds left. The Tigers celebrated too much and too early that they allowed Tiongson to hit another long range bomb to cut the lead to just a single point with 5 seconds left. Ateneo, however, was not able to make a quick foul as they were able to foul Jeric Teng with less than 2 seconds left. Teng missed both of us free throws but Greg Slaughter cannot corral the rebound in time for a desperation attempt. Final score 71-70 in favor of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
Aljon Mariano had 13 boards along with 21 points to bag the game’s scoring honors. The Jeric pairing of Teng and Fortuna came up with 27 points and 12 rebounds between them. Big man Abdul had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks to somehow outplay Slaughter who just finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds after being hounded by foul trouble in the second half. 2011 UAAP Rookie of the Year Kiefer Ravena led the Eagles with 19 points while 2011 UAAP Finals MVP Nico Salva had 17 markers with 8 rebounds. Cebuano Christopher Sumalinog contributed 4 points in the loss. With the result, both teams are now 1-1.
UST 71: Mariano 21, Teng 16, Abdul 14, Fortuna 11, Ferrer 4, Bautista 3, Lo 2, Pe 0, Daquioag 0, Afuang 0
ADMU 70: Ravena 19, Salva 17, Slaughter 9, Tiongson 8, Buenafe 5, Sumalinog 4, Elorde 3, Chua 3, Golla 2, Gonzaga 0, Erram 0
Quarter scoring: 12-27, 28-43, 58-54, 71-70
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