Growling Tigers fall short to Ateneo Blue Eagles in UAAP opener
The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers fumbled down the stretch against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, 69-73
Photo by Johmar Damiles
The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers fumbled down the stretch against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, 69-73, in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament, Sunday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Down by one at the start of the fourth quarter, 51-52, UST could not find their groove in offense as Ateneo uncorked a 16-4 run capped by Antonio Asistio’s two three-pointers, 55-66.
The España-based cagers tried to regain their momentum in the dying moments and ignited a 14-7 blitz highlighted by Jeepy Faundo’s back-to-back baskets underneath, but to no avail.
“‘Yung preparation namin ay three months lang, talagang very short. At the same time, kinulang din [kami kanina] sa time,” said UST head coach Rodil ‘Boy’ Sablan.
UST hosted a good start in the first quarter ending with Tiger Mario Bonleon’s triple, 17-14.
Ateneo’s main gunners Norman Black and Thirdy Ravena provided the scoring power in the second frame to tie things up at 34.
Both squads played a see-saw battle as the lead went back and forth with 13 deadlocks and 18 lead changes.
King Tiger Louie Vigil led the way for UST with 21 points while Joco Macasaet added 12. Black and Ravena combined for 40 markers that steered Ateneo to victory.
“Marami pa kaming gagawin, maraming pa silang maipapakita,” Sablan added.
The UST Growling Tigers will try to rise again on their next game against the University of the East Red Warriors on September 10, 2 p.m., at the same venue.