MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers ended the Adamson Falcons’ bid to enter the Final Four of the 75th UAAP men’s basketball tournament with an 83-79 victory on Saturday.
The Tigers pulled off the win despite a stellar performance from Adamson’s rookie standout Jericho Cruz, who scored 19 first-half points and 5 triples.
Cruz finished the game with 33 points and 8 rebounds on a losing effort.
Adamson led through much of the final period, but UST crawled back, eventually taking the lead with 1:42 left courtesy of a 3-pointer from Jeric Teng.
UST held on to lead and widened the margin to 5 points with 17.3 seconds left.
However, Adamson still had a chance to tie after UST’s Kevin Ferrer committed an ill-advised unsportsmanlike foul on Cruz, which gave Adamson 2 free throws and the possession.
Cruz converted 2 free throws to make it a one-possession game, but in the next possession, Cruz was stripped by Teng as he drove to the basket.
Adamson had to foul Clark Bautista with 7 seconds left to stop the clock. Bautista made one foul shot to settle the final scores.
Teng scored 22 points (5 3-pointers) and grabbed 6 rebounds for UST.
He also led the Tigers during a crucial 11-3 run in the final 2 minutes of the game to seal the victory.
UST center Karim Abdul contributed 19 points and 9 rebounds in the victory.
The win puts UST at solo second with an 8-3 record while Adamson, the second team eliminated from final four contention, drops to 2-9.
UST 83 - Teng 22, Abdul 19, Mariano 16, Bautista 11, Ferrer 8, Fortuna 7, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Lo 0, Afuang 0.
AdU 79 - Cruz 33, Rios 12, Etrone 11, Trollano 7, Camson 5, Cabrera 5, Brondial 5, Agustin 1, Monteclaro 0, Abrigo 0.