MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas always seemed to get its game going against the favored Far Eastern University.
The UST Tigers pulled off a repeat upset over the Tamaraws, 78-70, to complete an elimination sweep of FEU in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, October 14.
Zach Huang waxed hot for a game- and career-high 20 points, including a 10-of-13 (77%) clip from the free-throw line, plus 6 rebounds.
Marvin Lee tallied 17 points, 5 assists and 2 steals while UST revelation Germy Mahinay chipped in a career-best 10 points and 8 boards for the Tigers, who also stunned the Tamaraws in the first round in a 76-74 thriller last month.
UST streaked to its third straight victory to stay at the fifth spot at 4-4
FEU – which drubbed heavyweights Ateneo and Adamson yet lost to lower-ranked teams UST and UE – fell to third at 5-3, sliding down from the three-way tie at the top of the standings.
"We played well. Again, we executed our game plan. Lumabas ang mga laro ng mga bata. We're grateful na kung ano 'yung mga pinaghandaan namin, lumalabas sa laro," said UST coach Aldin Ayo. "Pero, long way to go, long way to go. We can't be contented with these wins."
(We played well. Again, we executed our game plan. Our real game is showing. We're grateful that we executed everything that we prepared for in this game. But we have a long way to go. We can't be contented with these wins.)
Richard Escoto paced FEU with 12 points and 5 boards.
Arvin Tolentino tallied an 11-point, 11-board double-double in his first game back from suspension, but got disqualified again for clubbing Huang's head with just 15 seconds left. He will again serve another suspension next game.
Lee dropped two straight threes to start the 4th to put UST up 4 points, 55-51.
More Tigers slowly started to pile on the lead until it reached as high as 11, 65-54, ending with a Huang bucket at the 3:55 mark.
Tolentino drained back-to-back threes to keep the Tams in the fight, but Mahinay kept FEU at bay with a bullying layup, 69-60, at the 2:21 mark.
UST 78 – Huang 20, Lee 17, Subido 14, Mahinay 10, Cansino 5, Bataller 4, Caunan 2, Marcos 2, Bonleon 2, Cosejo 2, Zamora 0, Agustin 0.
FEU 70 – Escoto 12, Tolentino 11, Orizu 8, Stockton 8, Gonzales 7, Cani 6, Ebona 6, Comboy 5, Parker 3, Inigo 2, Bayquin 2, Tuffin 0.
Quarters: 23-19, 37-33, 49-49, 78-70.