España stood tall once more.
The UST Growling Tigers scored their second win against the FEU Tamaraws, 57-53, to end the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament on Saturday, Nov. 18,at the Araneta Coliseum
The Tigers led from start to finish, controlling the tempo of the game for most of the way before warding off the Tamaraws’ final rally in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
UST finished the season with a 2-12 record, an improvement from their one-win tally from Season 85. Coincidentally, both wins came at the expense of the Tamaraws.
Tamaraws also tasted defeat from the Tigers in the final game of the first round last month, 68-62, snapping UST’s 19-game losing streak—the longest losing streak in the University’s history.
“Disappointing season for us, no? We only had two wins. I take full responsibility, I disappointed the UST community, and I apologize,” said Tigers’ head coach Pido Jarencio.
Christian Manaytay led UST with 12 points and nine rebounds while Migs Pangilinan scored 10 points in the low-scoring game.
The Tigers had to rely on the team’s balanced scoring throughout the matchup as league’s leading scorer Nic Cabanero was held to just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting from the field.
Zooming to a rousing start, the Tigers held the Tamaraws to just nine points in the first quarter while converting on inside incursions to double up FEU, 18-9, after the first period.
After two close quarters, FEU stirred a rally in the final canto as Jorick Bautista took charge for the Tamaraws through a layup that cut the lead to six, and a three-pointer closing the gap to three in the final minute.
Team captain Paul Manalang, who played his final game for UST, then split his free throws, pushing the lead to two possessions and sealing the victory.
Bautista topped the Tamaraws with 17 points on three triples, while James Tempra and Miguel Ona had 10 and eight points, respectively, as FEU ended the season with 3-11.
The Tigers are expected to have a busy off-season, participating in some minor leagues with their new recruit finishing their respective residencies.