Daquioag takes over late to lead UST past FEU
MANILA, Philippines – Ed Daquioag is growing as a star for University of Sto. Tomas in the UAAP.
The UST Growling Tigers improved to 2-0 in UAAP Season 78 after they took down a title favorite in the FEU Tamaraws, 72-71, on Wednesday, September 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The win was spearheaded by fifth-year veteran Ed Daquioag, who scored 3 clutch baskets in the final minutes of the contest to seal the win for his club.
Daquioag finished with 18 points to have a second straight high-scoring output to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Another UST veteran in Kevin Ferrer also played well, as he compiled 13 points, 3 3-pointers, and 8 boards.
“The boys played very well today,” Growling Tigers head coach Bong Dela Cruz told the media after the game. “Yung puso nila, yung heart nanduon. They want to win. So yun yung nangyari kanina: hindi bumigay hangang sa huli.”
(Their heart was there. They didn’t give in until the end.)
FEU had stormed back from a 9-point deficit in the third period to go on top by 4 entering the final quarter. But relentlessly, UST fought back and forced the game to go down the wire.
Back-to-back baskets in the paint by Daquioag put his team on top 70-67 with 2:46 to go.
After Raymar Jose scored on a layin to cut the lead to one, Daquioag converted on a layup off a steal a few possessions later to make it a 3-point game.
Russell Escoto then hit a jumper to cut UST’s lead to 72-71, but it was the final time points were added on the scoreboard for the contest.
“Kami nag-dictate. We played defense. Yun kasi yung nakita namin sa last game nila eh: walang depensa yung kalaban. So this time, we played defense 40 minutes,” said Dela Cruz.
(We dictated the game. We played defense. From what we saw last game, FEU’s opponents didn’t play defense.)
In the Tamaraws’ last game - a win against Ateneo - they scored 88 points, but when they needed another basket badly to take the lead over UST, they couldn’t attain it.
It was due to turnovers. After Ferrer missed a stepback 3-ball, Mike Tolomia threw the ball away on an errant pass with 24 seconds remaining.
After Jan Sheriff missed two free throws, Tolomia couldn’t control his dribble with a few seconds left in the clock, and it eventually led to a steal for the Tigers.
Overall, Tolomia finished with 10 turnovers to go with his 8 points and 5 assists. Mac Belo led FEU with 17 points, while Roger Pogoy finished with 13 points and 4 boards. Jose registered 12 markers and 10 boards.
“Sa mga mahal ko sa buhay. At syempre kay lord,” Daquioag said after the game about what’s made him so confident this UAAP season. “Siya nag bibigay nang lakas para saakin.”
(From those who I love. Also from lord, of course. He gives me strength.)
The Growling Tigers will be back in action on Sunday, September 13, when they face off with the UP Maroons in a battle of unbeaten squads.
“Hindi kami matutulog against UP… together with the players, kailangan namin mag puyat,” said Dela Cruz.
(We won’t sleep against UP. We need to prepare hard for them.)
The Tamaraws, on the other hand, will face the DLSU Green Archers on the same day.
UST (72): Daquioag 18, Ferrer 13, Abdul 12, Bonleon 9, Sheriff 7, Vigil 6, Lao 4, Lee 3, Huang 0, Faundo 0
FEU (71): Belo 17, Pogoy 13, Jose 12, Escoto 9, Tolomia 8, Dennison 5, Arong 4, Inigo 3, Orizu 0, Escoto 0, Trinidad 0, Tamsi 0
Quarter scores: 17-14, 34-28, 54-58, 72-71 – Rappler.com