In the absence of one of their top offensive weapons, UST found ways to cruise to an easy victory over the winless UE Red Warriors, 85-69, to inch closer to the top of the standings of the 75th season of the UAAP at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Playing without Jeric Teng, several Growling Tigers stepped up in a big way. Kevin Ferrer had a breakout performance to complement the game-long brilliance of center Karim Abdul. Ferrer scored all but two of his 16 points, including four three-pointers, in an explosive second half while Abdul finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds in a dominant effort.
“Actually, itong game na ito, breakout game ni Kevin Ferrer ito,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio. “Hinahanap ko yun eh. Tapos maganda yung contribution ng dalawang player namin, si (Eduardo) Daquioag at Louie Vigil. Limited lang yung mga oras nila pero nag-step up sila dahil wala si Jeric Teng.”
“Siguro mas lalo lumalim yung bench namin.”
UST led by just four points after the first 10 minutes, but outscored UE 26-12 in the second quarter to enter the break leading by 18 big points.
Vigil scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half, while Daquioag scored all six of his points in the first two periods.
In the third quarter, they had an answer for every time the Red Warriors threatened, as Ferrer knocked in three triples after a quiet first half. Aljon Mariano, who scored just two points in the first half, finished the game with 12 points.
UE was led by a career-high 20 points from JR Sumido. Roi Sumang finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.
With the win, UST climbed to 4-1, just a step behind leaders Ateneo and FEU (5-1). UE fell to 0-5.
UST (85) – Abdul 20, Ferrer 16, Vigil 13, Mariano 12, Daquioag 6, Fortuna 5, Pe 4, Lo 3, Bautista 3, Afuang 2, Garrido 1, Tan 0, Haingan 0.
UE (69) – Sumido 20, SUmang 13, Galanza 10, Santos 9, Javier 7, Valdez 3, Mena 2, Hernandez 2, Flores 2, Duran 1, Alberto 0, Belleze 0, Villarias 0, Razon 0, Duncil 0.
Quarterscores: 15-11, 41-23, 60-43, 85-69.