The UST Growling Tigers waxed hot in the third quarter to earn an 82-74 victory over the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Tigers bounced back from their previous loss to Adamson to improve to a 4-2 slate, while the Tamaraws slid to 2-3.
"That was a good game. It was a good way to bounce back from our last loss," said UST head coach Aldin Ayo. "All our mistakes last game, we took them out. We tried to correct those mistakes. I'm just grateful that we were able to adjust."
Sherwin Concepcion caught fire and unleashed four 3-pointers bridging the last two quarters to mount a 12-point lead for UST. Behind Xyrus Torres and Rey Bienes' late triples, FEU fought back and inched within five, 75-70, in the final minute.
Renzo Subido and Ira Bataller, however, trooped to the line to make it a three-possession game, 79-70, with 51.8 seconds left. Torres made a last-ditch effort by hitting a pair of free throws at the 12-second mark, but Mark Nonoy and Bataller sealed the deal with their own charities on the other end.
Soulemane Chabi Yo topped for the Tigers anew with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field and 15 rebounds. Concepcion delivered 12 points all from 3-point range, while Nonoy and Subido added 11 points apiece.
The Tamaraws were off to a good start as they built a 24-14 cushion after the opening period. With LJay Gonzales and Wendell Comboy at the forefront, they came into the break ahead by five, 39-34. They kept the game close until Concepcion steered UST to a double-digit advantage with his long bombs.
"The players responded to the challenge. I told them that they have to show and they have to play their game," said Ayo. "Right now, the players, coaches, and managers are very conscious of the standings. As early as now, we're trying to win the games that we can and compete because we don't want to chase in the second round. Right now, we still hold the steering wheel."
Gonzales led the charge for FEU with 16 points including 12 in the first half, while Torres showed up down the stretch and finished with 14 points.
UST 82 -- Chabi Yo 21, Concepcion 12, Nonoy 11, Subido 11, Abando 10, Bataller 8, Paraiso 3, Ando 2, Cansino 2, Huang 2, Cuajao 0.
FEU 74 -- Gonzales 16, Torres 14, Ebona 11, Comboy 10, Bienes 6, Tuffin 6, Alforque 4, Stockton4, Nunag 3, Cani 0, Celzo 0, Tchuente 0.
Quarters: 14-24, 34-39, 64-55, 82-74.
- Sherwin Concepcion was scoreless in the first half, missing all three of his attempts from deep. All his 12 points came during UST's pivotal run in the second half.
- The Tigers made 80 percent of their 30 free throw attempts in the game. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, only took a total of six free throws.
- After his breakout performance of 19 points and 11 rebounds in FEU's win against La Salle last Wednesday, Patrick Tchuente failed to knock down any of his five attempts in this loss. He finished with zero points and six rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
FEU - September 25 (Wednesday) vs NU at the Mall of Asia Arena
UST - September 28 (Saturday) vs DLSU at the Mall of Asia Arena