UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines -- The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers still had a foul to give at the end of their game against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, but failed to use it and paid dearly for their oversight.
With a shade over 23 seconds left and still one foul to give, the Tigers failed to stop Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena from draining the game-winning shot that gave the Blue Eagles a hard-fought 63-61 victory.
"Ang instruction ko kasi is to foul kasi meron pa kaming one foul to give," a somber UST head coach Bong dela Cruz told reporters after the game. "Eh hindi na-execute eh."
"Hindi nag-foul 'yung player namin, so ayun, naka-tira si Kiefer," he added.
It was a poor ending to what was a relatively well-played game for the Growling Tigers, one that Dela Cruz believed was their best game of the season -- at least defensively.
"We prepared hard for this game. Maganda 'yung nilaro ng mga bata," said Dela Cruz. "Kaya lang at the end of the game, talo kami. So talo pa rin."
The loss ended UST's string of three consecutive victories, putting their record at 3-2 going into their game against defending champions De La Salle University this weekend.