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UST blasts Adamson, secures twice-to-beat bonus

By Alex Cerado

QUEZON CITY--University of Santo Tomas showed no mercy and walloped an upset-conscious Adamson University, 78-63, en route to a twice-to-beat advantage going into the Final Four of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.

UST ended the elimination round with an impressive 11-3 win-loss slate, its best record since 1995, the second year of their historic four-peat era under former coach Aric Del Rosario.

The Tigers will just have to wait for the result of the last two assignments of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws to determine if they will take the first or second spot in the Final Four match-ups.

With UST leading by only six at the start of the third quarter, skipper Kevin Ferrer took the driver’s seat  and fired up three consecutive triples to ignite a 12-0 rally of his own, 49-33.

The Falcons tried to cut the deficit to eight after Nico Capote found an open Jerome Garcia down low, 49-41, with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter.

Rookie Mario Bonleon, who had 13 against FEU on Saturday including the most crucial basket, drilled in a three-pointer and another open basket to secure another double-digit edge, 55-41.

In the next play, the Tigers never looked back.

Karim Abdul and Ferrer took charge anew and built a 20-point lead within only three minutes in the payoff period, 66-46.

UST even led by as much as 23 when Louie Vigil, who had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, connected on a jump shot from the rainbow country, 76-53.

Dawn Ochea tried to stop the bleeding for Adamson with four free throws, 61-78, but time was not on their side to cap off their season campaign with a 3-11 record.

Ferrer stood out for UST with game-high 25 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while Ed Daquioag munched in 11, on top of eight boards and career-best three blocks.

Abdul, who had two fouls early in the first quarter, provided the support in the final period and manage to finish with 9 points and four rebounds.

Pape Sarr registered 12 points and 11 rebounds to wrap up his rookie year.