UST beats UP, keeps Final Four bid alive
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers kept its UAAP men’s basketball Final Four bid alive by defeating the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 63-39, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
The Tigers struggled early offensively before they pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Fighting Maroons, 23-6.
UST only had a slim 3-point lead, 36-33, with over a minute left in the third quarter, but a scoring drought by UP allowed the Tigers to build on their lead.
UP’s first basket in the final period came at the 6-minute mark, but by then, UST already held a comfortable 48-35 advantage.
The shooting woes of UP continued as they shot only 19% from the field.
Aljon Mariano carried the scoring load for UST, finishing with 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
UST big man Karim Abdul dominated the boards and grabbed 21 rebounds. He also chipped in 7 points and 4 blocks.
The Tigers improved its win-loss record to 7-5 and took solo fourth spot in the standings.
UP, on the other hand, remained at the bottom of the standings with 12 losses.
San Antonio Spurs player Matt Bonner, who is in the country to promote the NBA Global Games, was at the arena to watch the game.