MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers are national champions. And what better way to claim it than doing it at the expense of your UAAP tormentors.
Sharpshooter Jeric Teng rifled in 13 of his 22 points in the final period as UST downed Ateneo de Manila University, 81-76, in Game 3 of the 2012 Philippine Collegiate Champions League finals series Friday, December 7 at the packed Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Teng, awarded tournament MVP after the match, nailed five three-pointers — three of them in the pivotal fourth — while Kevin Ferrer ended his brilliant stint in the PCCL by posting 21 markers, nine boards and four assists.
Buoyed by a predominantly yellow-clad crowd, the Tigers led almost all throughout the game, but the Blue Eagles kept it close behind solid play from wingmen Kiefer Ravena and Ryan Buenafe.
But with Teng firing on all cylinders, the Espana-based squad erected a 12-point lead, 79-67, with over two minutes left on the clock.
Ateneo, the five-peat UAAP champions, clawed their way back into the game as the burly Buenafe almost singlehandedly brought the Eagles close, 79-74, before two free throws by Ravena made it 79-76 with 30 seconds remaining.
Ferrer doused water into Ateneo’s rally by scoring off a putback — UST’s 20th and 21st second chance points in the game — to help the Tigers finally put their rivals away, 81-76.
UST was aggressive all day, grossly outrebounding the Eagles, 47-32 and 20-9 on the offensive glass, resulting to 21 second chance points.
Jeric Fortuna bade his Black and Gold career goodbye with 11 markers even as Karim Abdul added eight points, nine boards and two steals.
Meanwhile, Buenafe led Ateneo with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Ravena finished with 20 points and two steals.
Greg Slaughter and Nico Salva failed to end their stint as Eagles with another championship after combining for just 20 points, 12 boards and seven assists in Ateneo’s failed bid for a fourth PCCL crown.
Teng led the Mythical Five, tagging along teammates Fortuna and Abdul with him. Slaughter and Ravena complete the team.
UST (81) – Teng 22, Ferrer 21, Fortuna 11, Abdul 8, Bautista 7, Daquioag 6, Afuang 4, Mariano 2, Hainga 0, Pe 0, Lo 0
ADMU (76) – Ravena 20, Buenafe 20, Slaughter 11, Salva 9, Elorde 7, Tiongson 5, Sumalinog 3, Chua 1, Golla 0, Gonzaga 0
Quarters: 19-19, 45-39, 60-57, 81-76 – Rappler.com