Posted Feb 16th 2014
Tigers go for 3rd straight vs. UP
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Sep 7th 2013
Suddenly, the growl is back in Espana.
But for University of Santo Tomas (UST), that sound of redemption is yet to hit Final Four decibels with the Tigers still purring outside of the upper half.
Today however, coach Pido Jarencio’s wards look to inch closer back into the Top 4 as the Tigers battle league doormat University of the Philippines (UP) in the second round of the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the MOA Arena.
Just a week after pulling off a king-size upset of erstwhile league-leader Far Eastern University (FEU), the Tigers hope to sustain the momentum when they meet the still-winless Maroons at 2 p.m.
UST, which edged the Tamaraws in double overtime, 79-78, last Sunday is currently tied for fourth to fifth places with defending champion Ateneo de Manila University at 6-5.
On the other hand, the Maroons remained winless in eleven games, absorbing their latest defeat, 62-79, last Wednesday at the hands of top-ranked National University.
Karim Abdul led three Tigers who tallied double-double outputs, collecting 24 points and 12 rebounds. Aljon Mariano added 21 and 11 on top of eight assists while Kevin Ferrer chipped in 15 and 13 to help the Tigers mount their second straight victory.
"Talagang nag-takeover si Karim," Jarencio said after the Sunday thriller. "Sabi niya sa akin, he'll do his best and give his 100%. Gusto niyang i-prove yung sarili niya, na karapat-dapat siyang mag-MVP last year.
Abdul will again have a chance to showcase his MVP-worthy game against the relatively smaller UP frontline led by Raul Soyud who loves to duel from the outside more that bang bodies underneath as of late.
Soyud is currently hitting 27.3 percent from three-point range and 36.2 percent from the perimeter. Chris Ball is more of a wing defender while the rest of UP’s bigs like Andrew Harris and Andrei Paras are still inexperienced compared to Abdul and company.
UP’s top gunner Sam Marata continues to lead the Maroons offensively but has noticeably disappeared for the Diliman quintet in the payoff period for three games now.
Ed Daquioag has also been solid for the Tigers, averaging nine points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per outing.
Henry Asilum, Daquioag’s possible match-up, is norming 6.4 points, 1.4 boards, and 1.6 dishes a game.
Back in the first round, the Tigers plastered the Maroons, 79-69.
The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and uaapsports.tv with a same day replay tonight at 6:30 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny channel 36.