MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) University of Santo Tomas (UST) recovered from a poor start to take down University of the East (UE), 72-61, on Tuesday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Growling Tigers trailed by as much as 11 points in the first quarter before finding their rhythm in the second half. They snapped a three-game skid in the UAAP Season 84 tournament, improving their record to 3-5.
Meanwhile, it was a painful loss for the Red Warriors who held UST to just 11 points in the opening quarter, but could not sustain their fiery start. UE dropped to 0-8, the only winless team in the league this season.
Veteran big man Sherwin Concepcio made five of his nine three-pointers en route to 17 points, while Dave Ando had a career-best 16 points to go along with his 12 rebounds. The Growling Tigers had a 36-13 advantage in bench points.
"Tiniyaga lang namin. 'Yung first three quarters, palitan, dikitan 'yung laban. Nahanap namin kung sino dapat 'yung scorer. Si Ando, career-high niya. Malaking tulong," said UST coach Jino Manansala.
After trailing by 10 points at the end of the first period, UST turned the tables on UE, out-scoring the Red Warriors, 17-9, in the second quarter to enter the break down by just two points, 30-28.
Big shots by Kyle Paranada and Harvey Pagsanjan temporarily kept the Tigers at bay in the third period, but a three-pointer by Concepcion with under a minute to play gave the España-based cagers the lead for good, 52-50.
The lead ballooned to nine points, 60-51, thanks to five straight points from Joshua Fontanilla to open the final quarter. A three-pointer by Pagsanjan with under four minutes left kept UE within striking distance, 66-61.
But the Red Warriors gave up a three-point play to Nicael Cabanero for a 69-61 UST lead, and Jose Antiporda misfired on three-pointers in UE's next two possessions. A three-pointer by Concepcion with 36 seconds left served as the dagger for the Growling Tigers.
Paranada had 17 points and Pagsanjan added 16 markers for the Red Warriors. Unfortunately for UE, they were out-scored, 18-10, in the fourth quarter, where they made just four of 20 field goal attempts.
UST 72 -- Concepcion 17, Ando 16, Cabanero 11, Manalang 9, Fontanilla 7, Manaytay 6, M. Pangilinan 3, Mantua 3, Samudio 0, Herrera 0, Canoy 0, Gomez de Liano 0, Gesalem 0.
UE 61 -- K. Paranada 17, Pagsanjan 16, Antiporda 6, Sawat 6, J. Cruz 5, Beltran 4, Lorenzana 3, Escamis 2, N. Paranada 2, Tulabut 0, Catacutan 0, Villanueva 0, P. Cruz 0, Abatayo 0.
Quarters: 11-21, 28-30, 51-54, 72-61.