Gritty UST rises to nip FEU in 2OT
UST outlasted FEU in two overtimes to win their 6th game in the UAAP.

MANILA, Philippines — Heart of a Growling Tiger.

University of Santo Tomas leaned on massive 3-pointers to escape Far Eastern University, 79-78, in double overtime in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Sunday, September 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After giving up a double-digit lead at halftime, the Tamaraws leaned on role players Gryann Mendoza, Anthony Hargrove and Roger Pogoy to come back from a 7-point deficit in the final quarter to take a 62-59 lead with 7.4 seconds remaining.

But Aljon Mariano drained a triple with 4.9 seconds on the clock to tie it at 62-all and force overtime.

After Karim Abdul put the Growling Tigers up, 64-62, early in the extra period, FEU went on an 8-3 run to build a 70-67 advantage with 2:04 left.

Both teams could not convert in ensuing possessions and with the Tamaraws seemingly headed for the win, Clark Bautista drilled in a 3-pointer with 10.9 seconds remaining to knot the count anew at 70-all.

Kevin Ferrer opened the second overtime with two free-throws to make it 72-70 for UST before Mac Belo scored 6 straight points to bring FEU up, 76-72, with less than two minutes left on the clock. 

Abdul and Mariano then starred in a 7-0 burst that culminated in an Abdul and-one play that gave the Tigers a 79-76 advantage with 32.3 seconds remaining.

Mike Tolomia drew the Tamaraws closer to 79-78 but Belo was blocked by Abdul in the final play as UST ran away with its 6th win in 11 outings.

On the other hand, FEU dropped to 8-4 and surrendered the tournament lead for the first time this season.

Abdul led the Tigers with 24 points, 12 rebonds and two blocks while Mariano churned out an all-around performance with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists as UST posted its second straight win.

Terrence Romeo paced the Tamaraws with 19 points and 7 boards. –

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