|UST's Jeric Fortuna goes for a three during their match with UP on July 22, 2010. (Photo by Arvin Lim)
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers eked out an 87-81 overtime win against University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons on Thursday in the UAAP men’s basketball at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Tigers buried a record-tying 16 three-pointers, including 4 in the extra period to break the hearts of the Maroons, who were already reeling from the absence of their head coach Aboy Castro.
Castro has reportedly filed an indefinite leave of absence from his head coaching duties.
The Tigers compounded the UP’s situation by waxing hot from beyond the arc.
Jeric Fortuna, who made 8 triples, jump-started the Tigers’ comeback with back-to-back triples, including a rare 4-point play, in the overtime period.
After Magi Sison gave UP a 71-69 lead, Fortuna decided to take matters into his hands. Fortuna’s 7-point binge pushed UST ahead, 76-72.
UP came within one, 75-76, on Sison’s three-point play but Clark Bautista and Aljon Mariano shut the door on the Maroons with back-to-back triples.
It was a sorry loss for the Maroons, who battled back from as many as 12 points, and had the chance to ice the game in regulation.
With UP leading by one, 69-68, Woody Co muffed his two charities in the last 6.2 seconds, keeping UST's hopes alive.
A double lane violation later ensued, resulting to a jump ball that went to UST’s favor. Jeric Teng won the tip and was fouled by Fil-Am rookie Mike Silungan in the last 3.5 seconds.
Teng missed his 1st free throw then sank the last one to force the overtime.
“Patay na nabuhay pa. Lumabas ang puso ng mga bata. ‘Yung attitude na ayaw matalo,” UST coach Pido Jarencio said.
The 5-foot-7 Fortuna led the Tigers with a career-high 29 points on a hot 8-of-10 three-point shooting. His 8 three-pointers was 2 shy of former National University gunner Jeff Napa’s 10 in 2001.
It was also the most points scored by a guard since ex-La Salle gunner Jayvee Casio scored the same, ironically, against UST on Aug. 28, 2008.
UST’s 16 three-pointers also tied Ateneo and Adamson for most 3-pointers made by a team. Ateneo did it in 1997 while Adamson achieved it in 2006.
UST 87 – Fortuna 29, Mariano 18, Teng 13, Bautista 9, Daquiaog 6, Camus 6, Afuang 4, Pe 2, Wong 0, Tinte 0, Mamaril 0, Lo 0, Marquez 0, Aytona 0.
UP 81 – Sison 19, Martin Reyes 19, Silungan 16, Padilla 10, Co 9, Lopez 8, Saret 0, Manuel 0, Migs Reyes 0, Maniego 0, Juruena 0, Gomez 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15, 39-32, 57-56, 69-69 reg., 87-81 OT.