La Salle boosts twice-to-beat bid, pushes UST to the brink
MANILA, Philippines – A year after beating University of Santo Tomas for the championship, De La Salle this time, put the Growling Tigers on the verge of falling out of Final Four contention Saturday night.
The Green Archers fanned their hopes for a twice-to-beat advantage after a 67-60 win over the sloppy Tigers in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“UST played very well on both ends of the floor. They gave us problems with their outside shooting,” said DLSU head coach Juno Sauler.
Jeron Teng pumped in 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half for the defending champion La Salle, which upped its mark to 9-3.
Ed Daquioag scored 19 points for UST, which played without two of its key cogs in Kevin Ferrer (wrist) and Louie Vigil. Vigil served an automatic one-game suspension after picking up his second unsportsmanlike foul last time.
With the loss, the Tigers’ chances of making the semifinals are now out of their hands. UST suffered its seventh setback in 12 stints.
A win by fourth-running National University over listless University of the Philippines on Sunday will officially boot UST out of the semis race.
The Tigers still led, 60-58, on two free throws by Karim Abdul with 2:32 left but shot themselves on the foot with their poor end-game execution.
Teng made five free throws in the final 1:12 of the game while UST went scoreless after Abdul’s basket and committed eight turnovers in the final frame alone, three coming in the final minute.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.