Growling Tigers clinch first Filoil win, Blazers suffer 4th loss

Alexx Esponga
Growling Tigers clinch first Filoil win, Blazers suffer 4th loss
The UST Growling Tigers end their losing streak with an 8-point win against the UPHSD Altas

MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers claimed their first win in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premiere Cup, as they defeated the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas, 63-55, on Sunday, May 21, at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

The Growling Tigers started aggressive and captured a 12-4 advantage with 4:49 minutes remaining in the first quarter. But as they failed to be consistent, the Altas took advantage and went on a 9-0 run to close the first quarter in their favor, 13-12.

UPHSD tried to hold on to their one-point lead but UST managed to make it even at halftime, 27-all, after limiting the shooting of the Las Piñas-based squad.

The España-based 5 erupted in the 3rd quarter as Carlos Escalambre released two consecutive treys that lifted UST’s spirit, followed by several straight fast break points to spark a 14-2 cushion.

The Altas tried to overcome a 14-point deficit in the last canto and managed to trim UST’s lead to 8 points, 60-52, with 56 seconds remaining.

However, the Growling Tigers continued to remind the Altas that they had the victory in the bag, punctuated with a Steve Akomo slam as the clock was down to just 18.9 seconds.

Akomo ended the match with a double-double of 11 points and 18 rebounds. Escalambre chipped in 10 points while Wendell de Guzman and Zach Huang had 9 points apiece.

UST now has a 1-3 win-loss record, while UPHSD dropped to 1-2.

“This is the start,” said UST assistant coach Tylon Dar Juan. “This win will definitely give the boys more confidence for our next games.”

UST head coach Boy Sablan was not seen on the court on Sunday. According to Juan, Sablan was at home “resting.”

Meanwhile, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws also bagged a win over the Arellano University Chiefs, 87-81, to retain an immaculate 2-0 card.

Prince Orizu topscored for the Tamaraws with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and two blocks, while RJ Ramirez and Hubert Cani contributed 12 markers apiece.

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons also thumped the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 77-70. The win boosted UP to a 2-0 record but gave Benilde its 4th heartbreak in the preseason tourney. –

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