MANILA, Philippines—UAAP finalist University of Santo Tomas bundled out NCAA finalist Letran, 78-73, to gear up for the final four of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Sunday at the San Juan Arena.
The seeded Growling Tigers set up a meeting with Adamson Monday to dispute the remaining slot in the top four and the Luzon-Metro Manila zone title.
Gunner Jeric Teng led UST with 19 points, mostly to push their lead to double digit in the fourth quarter—which Growling Tigers carelessly lost.
“We only had practice for three days, at least we were able to shake off the rust today,” said Pido Jarencio, who utilized his graduating players this game.
Stuck at 71 for a good four minutes, the Knights were able to trim the Growling Tigers’ biggest lead of 14 down to just two.
But Melo Afuang ended the drought before Karim Abdul powered his way to the hoop for the dagger with 1:07 left on the clock.
A defensive stop by Kevin Ferrer, then finishing touches from the stripe courtesy of Teng finally put the Knights away—who played sans Kevin Alas.
Alas said that he hasn’t been practicing with the Knights and is still undecided whether he’s coming back next season.
Abdul was doing all sorts of things for the Tigers and finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Forward Kevin Racal topscored for Letran, which is starting its post-Louie Alas phase, on a losing cause with 15 points.
Alas told the reporters before the game that though he’s still with the team until December, he’s letting the assistants to take over the team.
Jam Cortes, Raymond Almazan and Carlo Lituania all chipped in double digits for Letran.