The UST Growling Tigers (1-10) are eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Ateneo Blue Eagles (5-6), 59-67, in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nic Cabañero led the Tigers with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, while Migs Pangilinan posted 13 points and five assists.
The Tigers struggled to produce early on the offensive end in the first quarter, conceding seven points off turnovers to Ateneo, allowing them to build up a lead by as much as 15 points, 7-22.
Kenji Duremdes upended their scoring drought, cutting the lead to only 10, 12-22, at the end of the quarter.
UST became more active with their offense during the second quarter, being able to exchange baskets with Ateneo. However, the Eagles edged the Tigers by a percent, converting better with their size advantage through Joseph Obasa and other lengthier players.
Even when UST's scoring started to click, Ateneo maintained their offensive momentum, increasing their advantage by 29-43.
The Tigers showed signs of life in the third quarter, cutting their deficit to just four points, 43–47, after holding the Eagles to seven points and executing a 14-4 run.
Eagles’ Chris Koon was able to drill a three in the final seconds, ending the quarter at 43-50.
All hope vanished in the fourth quarter as the Eagles outplayed the Tigers defensively and took advantage of the Tigers’ turnovers to score six points.
Though the Tigers converted better field goals a little better at 40 percent than the Eagles’ 37.5 percent in the final quarter, they were already unable to overtake the Eagles, concluding the game 59-67.
Kai Ballungay was Ateneo’s leading scorer after a double-double outing of 15 points and 14 rebounds.
After today’s loss, the UST Growling Tigers are eliminated from Final Four contention.
The Growling Tigers are set to face the NU Bulldogs, UP Fighting Maroons, and the FEU Tamaraws in their remaining games of Season 86.