Daquioag, Ferrer wax hot as UST downs gritty Adamson

Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer sizzled for UST as the team opened its UAAP season with a hard-fought 70-64 win against Adamson in the nightcap of opening day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

Daquioag and Ferrer scored a combined 52 points for the Growling Tigers, who had to play toe-to-toe with the young core of the Soaring Falcons in the second half.

UST appeared to be in cruise control early on, opening a 22-5 lead to end the first quarter, but Adamson turned the tides in the second, limiting its opponent to only six points and cut the lead to three, 28-25, at halftime.

The Tigers tried to pull away anew, widening the gap to 11, 49-38, with 3:18 remaining in the third quarter, but the Falcons cut the lead to four anew, 49-45, later in the period.

UST again increased its lead to ten, 57-47, with 7:23 remaining in the match, but Adamson came to as close as two, 59-61, with 1:56 left.

Baskets by Ferrer and Daquioag stretched the advantage by the Tigers to six again, 65-59, with 1:17 to go, but Joseph Nalos made back-to-back baskets to trim it back to two, 65-63, with 55 seconds remaining.

Daquioag made another deuce to put the lead back to four, and Nalos, who took over after Dawn Ochea, who led Adamson's fight back, went down in cramps began losing steam as he only made a split from the line in the next play.

Jon Sheriff, who shot poorly from the free throw line last season, missed two crucial free throws that could have given the Falcons a chance to force overtime, but the Tigers retained possession after a double lane violation was called. Louie Vigil sealed the result with three free throws.

Nalos finished with a team-high 18 points, while Ochea added 12.

Box Scores:

UST 70-Daquioag 28, Ferrer 24, Vigil 9, Abdul 7, Lee 2, Subido 0, Sheriff 0, Lao 0, Suarez 0, Huang 0

Adamson 64-Nalos 18, Ochea 12, Garcia 8, Capote 7, Margallo 5, Villanueva 4, Tungcab 3, Miranda 3, Bernardo 2, Sarr 2, Polican 0, Ng 0, Escalambre 0, Fernandez 0

Quarterscores: 22-5, 28-25, 51-45, 70-64