MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers avoided a winless campaign by defeating the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 88-85, on Sunday, November 12, at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Growling Tigers had a 3-point lead (84-81) in the last 30 seconds of the game, but a foul drawn by Mark Maloles allowed him to sink both his charities. The Red Warriors attempted to force turnovers, but Marvin Lee’s heroics on the line saved the Growling Tigers from ending Season 80 from a pitiful 0-14 record.
The Growling Tigers entered the match knowing that this was their last chance of earning a win this season. Steve Akomo powered UST to nab the lead and stretch it to 14 points (23-9) in the first quarter.
After capping the first period with a 6-0 run, the Red Warriors were able to tie the lead at 23-all via Jason Varilla’s bucket at the 7:23 mark of the second quarter.
The Growling Tigers made a 12-2 run, punctuated by Enrique Caunan’s back-to-back baskets and his last tip-in (41-30). The Red Warriors called a timeout to stop the bleeding and they managed to close the gap to 4 points before the halftime buzzer (43-39).
At the half, Steve Akomo already recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Red Warriors stayed within reach of the Growling Tigers in the second half, tying the score twice before UST pulled away. Reggie Boy Basibas led his team in the final quarter in the 9-3 run.
The match was the farewell UAAP appearance of UST’s Jeepy Faundo and Red Warriors Mark Olayon, Rey Acuño and Clark Derige.
Basibas topped the scoring of UST with 21 points and he grabbed 9 rebounds. Akomo recorded a double-double of 18 points and 20 rebounds.
Pasaol tallied 18 points for the Red Warriors, while Varilla followed with 16 markers.
The Growling Tigers ended their UAAP Season 80 campaign with a 1-13 record, while the Red Warriors capped it at 3-11.
UST (88) – Basibas 21, Akomo 18, Caunan 14, Lee 11, Garcia 10, De Guzman 6, Sta. Ana 4, Escalambre 2, Macasaet 2, Romero 0, Huang 0, Faundo 0.
UE (85) – Pasaol 18, Varilla 16, Maloles 15, Conner 10, Acuño 8, Cullar 7, Manalang 7, Bartolome 2, Olayon 2, Derige 0.
Quarters: 23-15, 43-39, 63-61, 88-85.