University of Santo Tomas weathered a 33-point outburst from Adamson rookie Jericho Cruz to escape with an 83-79 victory in UAAP Season 75 action Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Guard Jeric Teng scored 22 points, while center Karim Abdul chipped in 19 points and nine rebounds to lift UST’s win-loss record to 8-3, giving the Tigers the second spot in the standings.
“It’s all breaks of the game. Yung momentum, biglang napunta samin e,” UST coach Pido Jarencio said.
After ending the first quarter tied with UST at 16-all, Adamson’s Cruz led the Falcons attack, rifling 5-of-6 three-pointers to score 19 points in the first half to help them grab a 42-36 lead.
Adamson then stretched its lead to eight, 50-42, after an Eric Camson three-pointer off the break.
But Abdul sparked an 11-0 blitz for UST capped by forward Aljon Mariano’s buzzer-beating layup to give the Tigers a 61-58 lead after the third quarter.
Both teams engaged in a tight battle, with the game tied at 76-all with 2:30 left in the game.
The Tigers then unleashed a 6-1 run in the dying moments of the game, with Mariano sinking two free throws left to five UST an 82-77 edge with 17.3 seconds left.
But UST forward Kevin Ferrer fouled out of the game in the next play after committing an unsportsmanlike foul, giving Cruz two free throws and a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer.
However, Cruz lost the ball in his attempt to drive the basket, sealing the victory for UST.
Mariano also a registered a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers.
Cruz also grabbed eight rebounds in his breakout performance. Forward Jansen Rios also contributed with 12 points for Adamson, whose record slid to 2-9.
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