UAAP: UST deals UP its 6th defeat
MANILA, Philippines—Every time University of Santo Tomas threatened to pull away, University of the Philippines would answer back.
Not until Jeric Fortuna finally silenced the UP hopefuls with a dagger of a drive to help the Growling Tigers hold off the Fighting Maroons, 77-70, Sunday in the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Fortuna, who has elevated his game to be one of the best point guards this season, flourished once more with 15 points—10 in the final period—including a dazzling drive that extended UST’s lead to six, 73-67, with 36.8 ticks left.
The Tigers, who hiked their card to 4-4, established a 71-61 buffer at the halfway mark of the fourth and looked well on their way of replicating their blowout victory in their first-round encounter.
UP, though, countered with a 6-0 run capped by a Paolo Romero basket to move to within 67-71 at the 2:07 mark, before the Fortuna drive.
Jeric Teng went four-of-four at the stripe in the final 20 seconds to ice the game for the Tigers.
UST squandered a 16-point lead as UP rallied and came as close as two, 56-58, courtesy of a Mike Silungan jumper.
Fortuna stopped the bleeding for the Tigers with a triple off the curl that halted the 18-4 blast by the Maroons.
Santo Tomas’ Cameroonian recruit Karim Abdul muscled his way to a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Abdul scored on a putback that gave UST its biggest lead, 54-38 with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter.
The Maroons staggered to their sixth setback in eight stints.
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