UST Growling Tigers made another impressive win, 77-71 against host school’s Bulldogs, Saturday morning at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Trailing with a double-digit deficit in the first three quarters, the Tigers managed to pull off an exhilarating comeback during the fourth. The España-based squad’s Jeric Teng led the team with as much as 14 points, with his back-to-back triples along with Fortuna and completely shifted the game’s momentum to the Tigers.
The solid defense of NU made an 8-3 run against UST, with Bobby Ray Parks nailing a triple with 1 second in the game clock. The first quarter ended with a six point lead, 21-15 in favor of NU.
Combined shots from NU’s Parks, Joshua Alolino, and Jeth Rosario widened the gap further to 14 points in 3 minutes of action. However, Tigers retaliate with back-to-back Teng baskets by penetrating the NU defense and with a triple cutting the lead into just 36-41 by the end of the first half.
UST continued playing aggressively during the third, yet the Tigers were having foul troubles with Karim Abdul and Teng having 3 each. Fortuna managed to keep his team up with the fast pacing plays of NU, scoring easy jumpers from Mariano and Abdul. The Tigers closed the gap into 53-55, with an 8-0 run. Bulldogs’ Lee Villamor fired up a triple and gave an easy drive for Alolino, allowing them to enlarge the lead into 7.
NU’s Jeoffrey Javillonar started the fourth quarter with a quick triple, but was easily erased by back-to-back baskets of Mariano, Carmelo Afuang, and Abdul. Alolino released a trey which regained NU’s seven point lead, with 5:49 minutes left in the game.
Jeric Teng, being silent for the past quarter, nails two triples and one from baseline. A triple from Kevin Ferrer was quickly responed by Parks with a trey. His shot was NU’s last field goal of the game, it was all UST onwards.
The Tigers played lockdown defense during the final minutes of the game, allowing UST to gain a 7-0 run on the final tally of scores.
Tigers’ scores: Teng 21, Abdul 11, Mariano 10, Fortuna 10, Ferrer 8, Bautista 7, Afuang 6, Lo 4
Bulldogs’ scores: Parks 25, Mbe 13, Alolino 13, Javillonar 11, Villamor 5, Rosario 3, Ignacio 1
Quarter Scores: 15-21, 36-41, 53-60, 77-71
By Josiah Darren Saynes
Photo courtesy of Juan Benjamin Janeo Photography