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Daquioag, Mariano push UST past Adamson

By Josiah Albelda Posted Aug 28th 2013

Karim Abdul, together with Ed Daquioag and Aljon Mariano, enabled the UST Growling Tigers to snap a three-game losing skid and remain in contention for the Final Four.

When it was getting too close for comfort for University of Santo Tomas, Ed Daquioag decided he wanted some separation.

The streaky guard rifled in six points in a huge fourth quarter run that powered the Growling Tigers to an 80-67 victory over Adamson University in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After Don Trollano made it 58-55 for UST midway through the final period, Daquioag rifled two three-pointers sandwiched by an Aljon Mariano basket that gave the Tigers a 66-55 lead that proved to be enough to preserve the win.

Mariano then went to work and delivered eight of the Tigers' last 12 points that sealed the team's return to winning form after a three-game slump.

"Makakatulog na ako ngayon ng mahimbing," coach Pido Jarencio said in jest.

But for a while, it looked like another sleepless night is in the offing for Jarencio, whose UST crew trailed for most of the first two quarters before gaining headway in the second half.

Karim Abdul endured the bruising defense of Ingrid Sewa to post 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, but the Cameroonian didn't prove to be an efficient scorer and missed 16 of his 25 attempts.

Fourth quarter heroes Daquioag (17 points, five rebounds, two steals) and Mariano (16 points, eight rebounds, five assists) also came up big to offset the absence of Jeric Teng and an off-night from Kevin Ferrer.

Teng, who injured his hamstring in a loss to National University, missed the game and is listed day-to-day.

"Nung nawala si Teng, nawala kami e," Jarencio rued. "Nawala yung composure, yung tibay ng team. Nawala yung leadership."

It is worse, though, on the Soaring Falcons' side of things, as the season hosts lost for the sixth straight time.

Rodney Brondial started strong but fizzled in the second half to wound up with 15 points and three blocks while Jericho Cruz added 13 markers, but decided to tie his shoe laces as UST completed a fastbreak in a crucial stretch in the final period.

The scores:

UST (80) - Abdul 19, Daquioag 17, Mariano 16, Lo 8, Ferrer 8, Bautista 6, Sheriff 4, Hainga 2, Pe 0

Adamson (67) - Brondial 15, Cruz 13, Trollano 12, Rios 12, Sewa 6, Cabrera 5, Monteclaro 2, Inigo 2, Petilos 0, Julkipli 0, Abrigo 0, Agustin 0

Quarters: 15-18, 31-30, 51-47, 80-67