The UST Growling Tigers returned to their winning ways with a decisive 101-73 beatdown of the UE Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of La Salle and Ateneo, the Growling Tigers vented their frustration by dominating the Red Warriors from start to finish.
Zach Huang unleashed a career-best 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the 3-point range in just 15 minutes of action. Soulemane Chabi Yo also played a key role with his double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds.
"It was a good game. One of the factors on why we played like this was because we were able to release the pressure," head coach Aldin Ayo said. "In our past games, the kids were under a lot of pressure. I told them to approach the game in the same way that we started this season."
UST hiked its record to 5-4, half a game behind the second-seeded UP (5-3). UE, on the other hand, failed to extend their two-game streak and fell to seventh place with a 3-6 slate.
The Tigers began breaking away late in the first quarter with an 8-0 run highlighted by two straight triples from Sherwin Concepcion. They carried over their scoring outburst in the next period, building as high as a 26-point lead by halftime.
Huang caught fire from downtown to anchor another furious rally, stretching UST's advantage to as many as 34 points, 72-38, midway through the third quarter. Alex Diakhite made a personal 7-0 blitz to spark a counter-attack that pulled the Red Warriors within 20.
The Tigers, however, put a stop to UE's attempts to come closer by dropping 27 points in the final frame. With their impressive offensive showing, they became the first team to breach the 100-point mark this season.
Diakhite paced the Red Warriors in the loss with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Neil Tolentino added 11 points.
UST 101 - Chabi Yo 22, Huang 22, Concepcion 10, Paraiso 10, Nonoy 9, Abando 8, Cansino 7, Subido 6, Ando 2, Bataller 2, Cuajao 2, Bordeos 1, Asuncion 0, Caunan 0, Cosejo 0, Pangilinan 0
UE 73 - Diahkite 24, Tolentino 11, Manalang 10, Suerte 10, Conner 7, Antiporda 3, Apacible 2, Cruz 2, Lorenzana 2, Mendoza 2, Abanto 0, Camacho 0, Natividad 0, Pagsanjan 0
QUARTER SCORES: 26-18, 55-29, 74-54, 101-73
- The Tigers' 28-point winning margin is the biggest this season, eclipsing Ateneo's 89-63 rout of UP. Their final score of 101 is also the biggest output so far, surpassing La Salles' 92-point finish against them in the first round.
- Zach Huang led UST's 3-point shooting. He accounted for six of the team's 14 makes from deep. Sherwin Concepcion, Brent Paraiso, and Rhenz Abando contributed two triples each.
- The Tigers dished 22 assists with Mark Nonoy and Renzo Subido combining for 11, while the Red Warriors only had a total of eight assists. They also had a 55-38 edge in rebounding, 26-9 coming from the offensive end.
UE - October 12 (Saturday) vs UP at the Mall of Asia Arena
UST - October 13 (Sunday) vs FEU at the Mall of Asia Arena