MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) University of Santo Tomas (UST) barged back into the win column in scintillating fashion, as the Growling Tigers dismantled University of the East (UE), 101-73, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Growling Tigers were coming off back-to-back defeats to De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University, but regained their rhythm against the Red Warriors. The impressive win gave UST a 5-4 win-loss record in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament, good for solo third in the league standings.
Starring for UST was veteran swingman Zach Huang, who put up a career-best 22 points, while making six of his eight three-pointers. Soulemane Chabi Yo also scored 22 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds. Sherwin Concepcion (10) and Brent Paraiso (10) both reached double-digits, as the Growling Tigers nailed 14 three-pointers in the win.
"That was a good game. One of the factors siguro, kaya ganoon ang naging laro, is we were able to release the pressure," said UST coach Aldin Ayo, who admitted that his players were under pressure following their strong start to the season.
"I told them na kung paano tayo nag-start ng season, 'yung first game against UE, dapat ganoon 'yung approach," he added. "I told them to go back to having fun while playing and just enjoy the season."
It was all UST in the game, with Concepcion spearheading their strong start for a 26-18 lead in the first period. Chabi Yo then took charge in the second frame, scoring 10 points as the Tigers entered the break with a 55-29 lead.
It was Huang's turn in the third quarter, with the swingman drilling back-to-back three-pointers to give the Tigers their biggest lead, 72-38, with 4:59 to play in the period.
The Red Warriors managed to trim the deficit to 20 points entering the fourth quarter, 74-54, but they never got closer as UST's lead proved too much to overcome.
UST's 101 points are the most scored by any team in the UAAP this season, and their 28-point margin of victory is also the biggest so far this year.
The Red Warriors saw their two-game winning streak come to an end, and they dropped to 3-6 this season.
Alex Diakhite led UE with 24 points and 12 rebounds, but also committed 6 of their 17 turnovers. Neil Tolentino had 11 points, while Philip Manalang and Rey Suerte each had 10 markers. The Red Warriors just couldn't match UST's firepower, however, especially with the Tigers grabbing 26 offensive rebounds that led them to score 25 second-chance 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
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