In a game where the spotlight was cast on the Teng brothers playing against each other, it was Aljon Mariano who dazzled for University of Santo Tomas.
The comebacking forward delivered in the clutch moments of the game to carry the Tigers to an 84-82 double overtime victory over De La Salle University in UAAP Season 75 action Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Mariano’s jumper with 7.1 seconds left gave the Tigers the lead for good. La Salle had a chance to tie the game, but Tigers center Karim Abdul blocked Andrada’s basket and Revilla missed a desperation triple with 0.6 seconds left.
Mariano scored all of UST’s points in the second overtime period to help UST to its third straight win. He finished with 15 points.
“Yung trademark ng team namin, medyo mahirap kalabanin kasi hanggang dulo lumalaban,” UST coach Pido Jarencio said. “Ito yung gusto kong mangyari, na masanay kami sa ganito.”
It was actually La Salle that showcased its never-say-die form late in regulation. Trailing 65-57 in the fourth quarter, the Green Archers unleashed a 9-1 blast capped by forward Yutien Andrada’s layup to tie the game at 66-all with 2:43 left.
UST forward Jeric Teng then buried a three-pointer, before LA Revilla sank two free throws and Jeron Teng split his charities to tie the game at 69-all with 1:48 left in the game.
Revilla and Jeron split their next charities to give La Salle a 71-69 lead. Mariano then scored underneath for UST to tie the game with 9.7 seconds remaining.
Revilla sank a potential game-winning floater right at the buzzer, which the officials voided after a review.
Both teams engaged in a tight battle in the first overtime, exchanging baskets before Mariano scored a layup off a drive to give the Tigers 80-78 lead with 46.1 seconds left.
But La Salle center Norbert Torres scored a layup with 33.4 seconds remaining to tie the game at 80-all and bring the game to another extra period, where Mariano took over.
“Itong team na ito, hinog na ito e,” Jarencio said, lauding his players for still fighting despite the fatigue. “Yung tipong, ‘Hanggang dulo lalaban kami coach, hindi lang para sayo kundi para sa eskwelahan.’”
Clark Bautista led all scorers with 21 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting, while Abdul had a monster game for UST, scoring a double-double 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Revilla, meanwhile, led La Salle with 19 points, while Jeron Teng hit 17 points and 12 rebounds for La Salle, who dropped to a 2-3 win-loss record.