Growling Tigers clinch Final 4 berth
After losing protestBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas nailed the more important win on the hardcourt moments after losing in the boardroom.
Putting off-court distractions aside, Jeric Teng exploded for a career-high 26 points as the Tigers drubbed University of the East, 87-75, to clinch a Final Four berth in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The crucial victory, which pushed the Tigers to solo second at 10-4, came after the UAAP technical committee turned down UST’s protest of the controversial game won by Ateneo, 68-66, last Saturday.
League secretary treasurer Junel Baculi said the committee decided to uphold commissioner Ato Badolato’s decision that the complaints raised by UST were “judgment calls and not subject to protest.”
Another Teng towed La Salle to a key triumph later as rookie Jeron pumped in 19 points to lead the Green Archers to a 72-59 rout of Adamson that assured them at least a playoff for the semifinals.
“We talked about this, that our destiny is in our own hands. We did what we have to do,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla after the fourth-running Archers (9-5) pulled ahead of idle National University (8-5).
Jeric Teng drilled 15 points in the final quarter, including nine in a decisive 13-0 spurt that helped the Tigers turn a slim 60-57 lead to a 73-57 advantage going into the final five minutes.
“After losing to Ateneo, we knew we can’t lose this one,” said Teng after the Tigers joined the Blue Eagles (12-2) in the semifinals.
The Tigers—who may still figure in a playoff for the last twice-to-beat bonus if Far Eastern U wins on Sunday—had eyed the No. 1 spot but lost to the Eagles in a controversial game UST placed under protest.
UST questioned a goal tending call on Karim Abdul and the non-call on Ateneo coach Norman Black’s oncourt outburst in the last seven seconds of the game.
UST 87—Teng 26, Abdul 22, Mariano 15, Bautista 15, Ferrer 4, Lo 2, Fortuna 2, Vigil 1, Pe 0, Daquioag 0, Afuang 0.
UE 75—Sumang 22, Sumido 19, Santos 16, Villarias 8, Hernandez 5, Flores 3, Javier 2, Belleza 0, Olayon 0, Duran 0.
Quarters: 10-12, 32-22, 55-49, 87-75
LA SALLE 72—Teng 19, N. Torres 12, T. Torres 11, Vosotros 8, Van Opstal 5, Andrada 5, Webb 4, Mendoza 4, Revilla 4, Manguera 0.
ADAMSON 59—Cabrera 17, Etrone 15, Rios 7, Cruz 6, Brondial 6, Monteclaro 4, Camson 4, Trollano 0, Petilos 0, Olalia 0, Deans 0, Cabigas 0, Agustin 0.
Quarters: 17-8, 27-21, 49-37, 72-59