40 turnovers doom Tigers to worst loss in a decade
For two quarters, University of Santo Tomas kept it close against La Salle.
But the second half was an entirely different story as the Green Archers, led by their super import Ben Mbala, wasted no time in breaking the game wide open.
The game was over in the third quarter with La Salle smothering a sloppy UST side, 73-49.
And just when things couldn’t get any worse for the Growling Tigers, their deficit eclipsed the 40-point plateau.
La Salle rookie Ricci Rivero put the finishing touches to the Archers’ dominance with a breakaway reverse dunk. At that point, the Archers were just showing off as the Tigers were reduced to spectators, only they weren’t enjoying every minute of it.
“Personally, that’s the worst loss of my entire collegiate career,” said UST captain Louie Vigil after the Tigers’ took a jarring 100-62 loss.
“It’s hard to think about it because in the first half we’re there and our players, especially our bigs, are doing their jobs on Mbala,” Vigil said. “But there was a spurt in the third quarter where La Salle got their momentum and we couldn’t stop it and at the same time, we didn’t share the ball.”
It was UST’s worst defeat in 10 years.
UST also shot itself in the foot with a whopping 40 turnovers.
“We folded up in third quarter. We started flat. Afoakwah had to sit out the third quarters, he had three fouls so I couldn’t put him inside. He was the energy guy. Kahit di nakakashoot, lumalaban, dumedepensa. Pero pinatay kami ng turnovers namin,” said UST coach Boy Sablan.
Vigil finished with only five points but would’ve ended up with more to show had he attempted more. He took just two shots and made both of them.
Vigil admitted the loss was painful but it’s how UST will react that would define its season.
“This is game is a test of character for us. It’s how we will bounce back from this painful loss. After this game, that’s when we’ll be able to know how far we can go. That’s the big challenge for us this coming Saturday against UP,” he said.
“Kung ano yung lalaruin namin sa Sabado, yun na siguro yung magiging battlecry namin.”
Despite the outcome, Vigil still found a silver lining.
“Start pa lang naman ng season. Yun yung ipapa-realize ko sa mga kasama ko na we still have a lot of time to bounce back and although masakit yung pagkatalo, we just have to move on and learn from our mistakes.”