Photo courtesy of TomasinoWeb
By Karl Cedrick Basco

The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ late rally was not enough to pull another upset victory against the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles and dropped its last game of the first round, 57-61, in the UAAP Season 76 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum today.

 Aljon Mariano led the team tallying 16 markers with nine rebounds however failed to score in the pay-off period. Eduardo Daquioag and Clark Bautista added 33 combined points 15 of which came in the final canto.

Ateneo started the game on fire blasting an 11-0 run highlighted by Keifer Ravena’s three-point basket and JP Erram’s jumper to establish a commanding 13-point lead, 17-4.

Mariano cut the deficit into eight scoring eight points including a floater in the 1:53 mark, 19-27. However, the Katipunan-based squad stepped on the pedal gas on the third frame to build another double digit lead with Gwyne Capacio’s behind-the-arc basket, 42-31.

The Pido Jarencio-mentored squad alive in the last quarter as Daquioag unleashed a slam then a trey with 5:16 left in the ticks and cut the deficit into six, 46-52.

Bautista nailed a crucial three with 21 seconds remaining that made the game at one possession ball game, 57-59, before Chris Newsome split his charities, 60-57. Kevin Ferrer tried to tie the game and extend it to overtime attempting two consecutive three pointers but missed it all.

The Tigers ended their first round campaign with 4-3 win-loss record while Ateneo clinched its second straight victory and improve to 3-4 slate.

Kiefer Ravena paced the Eagles with 13 points while Newsome contributed 10 points. The Eagles also displayed strong defense limiting UST’s Center Karim Abdul to only six points, two of five in the field.


 UST 57: Mariano 16, Daquioag 12, Bautista 11, Ferrer 9, Abdul 6, Lo 3, So 0, Pe 0, Hainga 0

 ADMU 61: Ravena 13, Newsome 10, Buenafe 9, Tiongson 9, Golla 8, Capacio 4, Pessumal 3, Tolentino 2, Erram 2, Elorde 1

Quarterscores: 6-19, 21-27, 39-47, 57-61 

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