Header Ads Widget

WINLESS NO MORE: UST finally gets first win, edge UE in their final game

UST big Steve Akomo imposed its might against an all-Filipino UE side to get their lone win of the season.
By Franchesca Nicole Collantes

QUEZON CITY -- Finally and belatedly, the University of Sto. Tomas barged into the win column of the UAAP men's basketball tournament after thirteen fruitless tries after edging UE in an 88-85 thriller Sunday afternoon at the Big Dome.

Rodil Sablan's Growling Tigers needed a late defensive stop to finally get their first and only win of the season to avoid the abominable shutout and end their season with a victory.

Reggie Boy Basibas fired for a game-high 21 points on a 50% shooting from the field and just came up a board short of a double-double.

Steve Akomo backstopped the combo guard with a monster double, coming just two points shy of a 20-20 game.

Alvin Pasaol carried the Red Warriors once again after scoring 18 points but they could not sustain their late uprising to end the season at 3-11 for Manong Derrick Pumaren.

The Growling Tigers showed a good start in the game, leading by as much as 14 on an Akomo lay-up early in the first before UE scored six straight points to close the gap to 8.

UST even spotted an 11-point cushion but another late UE charge trimmed the deficit to four heading into the break.

At the third quarter, Garcia made it rain, registering all of his ten markers in that period as they withstand another Red Warrior onslaught to see their lead reduced to two heading into the payoff period.

UE finally grabbed the upper hand at the start of the final 10 minutes when Mark Maloles scored the first four of his 11 4th quarter points early on.

But UST made a late charge to overturn it, and were leading by as much as five in the twilight zone, setting the stage for a late drama where UE trimmed it down to a point with just seconds to go.

And in the endgame, Oliver De Guzman sealed the game with a pair of free throws and the Tigers forced the turnover on Pasaol in their final defensive play to end the losing skid at 17 games dating back to last year.

The Scores:

UST 88 --
Basibas 21, Akomo 18, Caunan 14, Lee 11, Garcia 10, De Guzman 6, Sta. Ana 4, Macasaet 2, Escalambre 2, Faundo 0, Huang 0, Romero 0

UE 85 -- Pasaol 18, Varilla 16, Maloles 15, Conner 10, Acuno 8, Cullar 7, Manalang 7, Bartolome 2, Olayon 2, Derige 0

Quarter scores: 23-15, 43-39, 63-61, 88-85

(Kevin Estrada contributed to this report)

Follow her on Twitter: @nekstory