Tigers outlast Green Archers in OTBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — In a game where both teams struggled to get their rhythm, it looks like University of Santo Tomas.
UST scored eight of its 12 points in overtime from the stripe, getting just enough cushion to oulast La Salle, 63-58, Saturday in the UAAP season 76 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Maybe the opening jitters were part of it. Our game wasn’t good. No matter what, in the end, we won,” said head coach Pido Jarencio in Filipino.
Cameroonian center Karim Abdul pushed the Tigers’ to the front early in OT, 56-51, scoring on drives to the lane and fishing the fouls.
UST never trailed anew but the Green Archers turned to Almond Vosotros and their savior in regulation Jason Perkins to pull within 58-60 with 1:33 left.
Aljon Mariano, who struggled all game, then saved the Tigers with three freethrows in the final 23 seconds as they pounced on a crucial miscue by La Salle at the half court.
But Jarencio revealed that his prized forward wasn’t a hundred percent, having injured his foot 10 days before the season.
“That’s why he was on and off but in the end he was still able to help,” said Jarencio.
Teng scattered a game-best 23 points, including a series of his specialty tough jumpers, along with three assists and steals. Abdul, meanwhile, added 17 points and 10 boards.
“Jeric is now an all-around player. He has developed his post move and his outside shooting is a bit consistent. Karim is our inside player. He has developed his inside moves and presence,” said Jarenio of his key cogs.
Vostros and Perkins, meanwhile, both finished with 13 points for La Salle, which came back from 11 points down early in the fourth to forge overtime.
But the Green Archers, who even had a huge 52-44 edge in boards, were outgunned at the start of overtime and never recovered.