Kevin Ferrer scores a fast break lay-up in their game against National University Bulldogs. UST defeated NU, 71-62. Photo by Gelli Javellana, TomasinoWeb
By Angelica Abello

The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers extend their UAAP Season 76 stint by trouncing the top-seeded National University Bulldogs, 71-62, in their Final Four clash today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Espana-based squad regained their biggest lead of the game in the fourth quarter, 63-45, before NU blasted a 13-0 run to cut the lead down to five, 63-58. NU had a chance to slice the lead down to three but Emmanuel Mbe missed his open-wide dunk. 

Veteran guard Jeric Teng saved the Growling Tigers from their drought as he uncorked a triple from way beyond the arc to stop the fiery Bulldogs from their run, 66-58.

Aljon Mariano’s four clutch freethrows during the last minute of the game sealed the win for the Tigers, forcing the Bulldogs to use their twice-to-beat advantage.

“Number four can beat number one,” said UST head coach Pido Jarencio. “Ang pressure nasa kanila kasi kailangan mo magstay sa number one. Kami, number four, nag-aaspire na maging number one.”

Kevin Ferrer was named as player of the game finishing 14 points, including four triples, and five rebounds while sticking to his role as Parks’ stopper.

On the other hand, NU was led by Jelo Alolino who chipped in 17 points and seven rebounds.

NU is seeking for their first finals appearance in more than 50 years, last one was on 1954, while UST will try to make history as the first fourth-seed in the Final Four era to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage and advances to the finals.

The two teams will meet again on a decider match on September 28, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The scores:

UST 71 – Ferrer 14, Mariano 12, Bautista 12, Teng 8, Abdul 7, Sheriff 6, Pe 6, Lo 2, Lao 2, Daquioag 2

NU 62 – Alolino 17, Parks 14, Rono 8, Mbe 8, Khobuntin 5, Villamor 5, Porter 3, Alejandro 2, Rosario 0, Javillonar 0, Javelona 0

Quarter-scores: 19-8, 39-23, 54-44, 71-62


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