MANILA -- University of the Philippines (UP) is seemed on track for a winless campaign in three years in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) after University of Santo Tomas (UST) downed the Maroons Saturday, 68-66, at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.
UST banked on the late game efforts of Aljon Mariano and Chris Camus, who combined for 11 points in the final five minutes of the payoff period to pull the rug from UP and stay in the delicate hunt for the elite Final Four slot.
Mariano started to turn the tables by knocking in a triple to put the score at 57-58 with 5:33 left, and never looked back.
UP tried to make a scare in the last 25 seconds, courtesy of rookie Mike Silungan’s triple which cut the lead to three, 66-63, but Clark Bautista’s split charities off an Alvin Padilla foul gave the Tigers a four-point cushion, 67-63, with 7.9 ticks remaining.
Padilla drained his second triple to put UP at a one-point setback but that proved to be his last gallant stand for the Diliman-based cagers as he fouled sophomore Jeric Teng just as the final buzzer sounded.
Teng, who topscored for UST with 17 points, made one of his two charities to end the game at 68-66, to the delight of the Espana-based fans who waited for a month to see the 2006 champions snare its fourth victory in eleven starts.
UST swept UP in the 73rd season after a pulsating 87-81 overtime win last July 22 in the same venue. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)