Please login using any of the following providers:

UST, Adamson clash for 2-0 slate

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 5th 2013

The Tigers and the Falcons meet in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser to determine who will join FEU atop the standings with a perfect 2-0 record.

Opening-day winner University of Santo Tomas (UST) and host Adamson University vie for a share of the lead today when both teams duke it out in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Tigers and the Falcons meet in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser to determine who will join Far Eastern University atop the standings with a perfect 2-0 record.

UST is coming off a hard-earned 63-58 overtime victory against De La Salle University last Saturday. But the Tigers are yet to settle on a rhythm, committing a plethora of turnovers – 19 to be exact – ranging from passing miscues to dribbling violations as La Salle mounted an inspired fightback late in the fourth quarter.

Good thing veteran skipper Jeric Teng and workhorse import Karim Abdul were on their best elements, knocking in timely shots and defending well to rescue the Tigers from a near-meltdown and preserve the victory.

Teng finished with a game-high 23 points while Abdul added 17 on top of 10 rebounds to register his first double-double of the season.

Adamson meanwhile clobbered University of the Philippines, 79-67, behind a dominant rebounding game coupled with newfound leader Jericho Cruz’ all-around performance.

Cruz marked his season debut with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals. He got ample support from rookie import Ingrid Sewa, who banged in 15 markers while grabbing 10 of the Falcons’ 53 boards to underscore Adamson’s inside power.

With Adamson adding heft and ceiling underneath, UST’s frontline will need more than just Abdul to patrol the lanes on both ends.

Kevin Ferrer, who raised his level of play in the D-League is yet to make an impact, wounding up with just five points – the same output UST’s other versatile forward Aljon Mariano dished out against the Archers.

Mariano, who saw limited action in their first game, is yet to fully recover from a sprain he suffered in the off-season. But UST coach Pido Jarencio is optimistic that the 6'3 swingman will be a hundred percent ready for the Falcons.

“Matapang ‘yung bata. Gusto talagang maglaro para makatulong sa team. Ok naman na siya, magaling na. Ready na ulit ipakita ‘yung totoong laro niya bukas,” Jarencio said.

Like Jarencio, Adamson coach Leo Austria expects Mariano, along with Teng, Abdul, and Ferrer, to play their A-game against the Falcons. But his charges are up to the challenge.

“Again, like in our first game, if we follow the game plan, both offensively and defensively, we can beat them. We just have to focus and stay positive,” he said.

The game will air live at 2 p.m. on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34 or Destiny Cable channel 36.