Red Warriors pounce on turnover-prone Tigers for 2nd win
University of Santo Tomas was the perfect victim to University of the East’s vaunted full-court press.
The Red Warriors left the Growling Tigers in a bloody mess with a redemptive 71-61 beatdown at the start of the second round in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We know how important this game was for us. We just have to crawl out of the hole that we’re in right now,” said UE head coach Derrick Pumaren, whose squad avenged an 88-87 loss to UST in the first round last month. “I think we were able to play more consistently in today’s game. We were able to dictate the tempo. Unlike when we played them in the first round. I think we played well in the first quarter but in the second half, our level of play dipped.”
“That win over Adamson, we used that to pick up from there and hopefully, this will be a start for us,” he said.
Mark Olayon had 14 points and seven rebounds, but it was Red Warriors’ defensive effort from start to finish that made the difference.
Applying its pressure defense from the get-go, UE forced UST to commit 32 turnovers, 23 of which came in the first half where the Red Warriors took a 41-27 lead and never looked back.
“That’s the thing. I told the boys that we have to come out and jump on them so we forced them to turn the basketball over.”
Louie Vigil scored a game-high 21 points but had 10 turnovers while William Afoakwah collected 10 points and 21 rebounds for the Growling Tigers, who reeled to their fifth straight setback and slid to 2-6.
The Tigers could barely get the ball across half court without the ball going outside or ending up in the hands of a pesky Red Warrior.
It wasn’t the first time UST committed 30 or more turnovers in a game this season after having 40 in a humiliating 100-62 defeat at the hands of undefeated La Salle three weeks ago.
UE 71 – Olayon 14, Pasaol 9, Charcos 9, Palma 8, Batiller 7, Bartolome 6, Manalang 4, De Leon 4, Varilla 4, Abanto 2, Derige 2, Gagate 2, Penuela 0
UST 61 – Vigil 21, Afoakwah 10, Faundo 10, Sheriff 5, Subudo 3, Basibas 3, Lao 2, Lee 2, De Guzman 2, Huang 2, Macasaet 1, Caunan 0
Quarters: 23-13, 41-27, 59-47, 71-61
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