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Tigers claw Falcons for 2-0 start

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 6th 2013

Kevin Ferrer had his best game this season to lead the University of Santos Tomas over Adamson University, 67-62.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) nearly lost a won game.

But Jeric Teng wouldn’t allow it. And UST coach Pido Jarencio wasn’t surprised at all.

The veteran Teng nailed a crucial baseline jumper with 16 seconds left to hold off a rallying Adamson University, 67-62, on Saturday and give UST its second straight victory in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

“Wag na tayo magtaka kasi siya (Teng) ang leader ng team na ito. Ayaw din matalo ng bata e,” Jarencio said of the Tigers’ 6’2 captain, who finished with 15 points, nine coming in the last quarter as UST grabbed an early share of the lead at 2-0.

Kevin Ferrer finally made an impact, leading the Tigers with 17 points, four rebounds, and four blocks to atone for import Karim Abdul’s so-so outing.

Abdul chalked up just six markers and three boards in 30 minutes of action, visibly losing his one-one-one match-up with Adamson’s rookie import Ingrid Sewa, who logged in a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

With Sewa imposing his might underneath from the get-go, the Tigers trailed by as much as 24-34 late in the second quarter. Add to that UST’s horrendous first-half shooting, making just 10 of 34 tries for a lowly 29.4 percent clip.

However, the Tigers refused to give up that easily.

Flashing a rare backcourt trapping defense in the third, the Tigers repeatedly broke Adamson’s halfcourt sets and unleashed a telling 19-5 counterattack anchored on Teng, Ferrer, and Clark Bautista to turn a 29-36 deficit into a 45-41 edge.

UST continued its assault in the final canto to seize the game’s biggest lead at 55-43. The Falcons closed in at 53-59 before Teng and Ferrer struck anew to restore UST’s double-digit lead, 63-53, with 1:25 left.

Yet Adamson was far from over.

Celedonio Trollano knocked in back-to-back triples from way out to push the Falcons within, 59-63, with 49.1 seconds left. Teng slip his charities in the next possession before Roider Cabrera nailed another trey   to make it a 62-64 affair with 30.5 ticks remaining.

Then Teng resurfaced into the UST offense, signalled a clear out against Trollano before pulling up for the game-winning jumper that send the black-and-gold gallery into a frenzy.

“Sobrang sama ng first half namin kaya nag-adjust kami. Nag-full court press kami tapos nag-sona (zone defense) kaya biglang nawala sa eksena si (Ingrid) Sewa. Beterano na ang mga bata kaya alam na nila ang gagawin,” Jarencio said.

Cruz led Adamson with 15 points while Cabrera chipped in 11 for the Falcons, who outrebounded the Tigers, 52-39, but committed more turnovers (22-16).

The scores:

UST 67 – Ferrer 17, Teng 15, Bautista 9, Mariano 8, Daquioag 7, Abdul 6, Lo 5, Sheriff 0, Pe 0, Hainga 0.

ADU 62- Cruz 15, Sewa 13, Cabrera 11, Brondial 9, Trollano 6, Julkipli 4, Petillos 3, Inigo 1, Rios 0, Monteclaro 0, Agustin.

Quarter scores: 18-22, 26-34, 45-41, 67-62.