Saturday, 16 April 2011 59 Comments
ONCE again, after the game, University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers head coach Pido Jarencio half-jokingly reminded the assembled reporters that the only reason why the Tigers decided to join the 2011 FilOil Flying V Pre-Season Premier Cup was that he had something to show the UST fans, as compared to previous seasons. Clearly, he does.
Tiger rookies Karim Abdul and Kevin Ferrer showed uncanny resilience down the stretch, powering their squad to a 104-102 double-overtime win against the San Sebastian Golden-Recoletos Stags last Saturday, April 16, at the Arena in San Juan City.
Abdul finished with a double-double of 23 points, including 9-of-10 free throws, and 17 rebounds, while Ferrer added 17 markers and seven boards. Point guard Jeric Fortuna also had 17.
The Stags actually got off to a hot start, scoring 12 unanswered to begin the first quarter before Jarencio finally sent in Abdul, igniting a 12-4 Tigers run. Baskets by Calvin Abueva and Ronald Pascual would stabilize the situation for San Sebastian though, allowing them to take an eight-point lead after ten minutes.
With the score at 38-30 in the second quarter, UST reinserted Abdul after a short rest, triggering another run, this time, 10 unanswered. That allowed the Growling Tigers to take the lead at the 4:17 mark of the quarter off a Jeric Fortuna floater.
The two sides went back and forth all the way into the fourth quarter, as a Ferrer drive set UST up with an 86-85 lead. After a timeout, Abueva drew a foul and split his charities, tying the game. With 22.1 seconds to go, UST turned to Jeric Teng at the top of the key. Driving in, Abueva tipped the ball away from him, but Abdul recovered it before launching a jumper that was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
In the first OT, Abueva once again tied the game on a sharp drive down the middle of the lane, knotting it at 93 apiece with 26 seconds left. With a two second difference between the game and the shot clock, Ferrer missed a tough triple, and Afuang turned it over after corralling the offensive rebound.
Then with 4.6 seconds left, Jonathan Semira missed a triple to send the game into double-overtime. With two minutes to play, a Dexter Maiquez drive cut the UST lead down to a solitary point, 98-97. Ferrer responded with two charities, extending the UST advantage to three, 100-97. Maiquez scored yet again, only for Clark Bautista to nail just his second triple of the game and push the margin to a two-possession advantage, 103-99.
A controversial moment was to follow after Stags captain Anthony del Rio seemed to make contact after attempting a swipe at the leather from Ferrer. But no foul was called, allowing Semira to steal the ball and score off an easy lay-up to peg the count at 103-101. Despite the UST coaching staff’s protests, play continued, and Abueva intentionally fouled Carmelo Afuang with 15.7 seconds remaining. Afuang split the charities, leaving the door open at 104-101 for the Stags.
Once again, “The Beast” tried to win it for his team, pulling down a missed free throw and barreling down the lane for the foul. He’d only halve them, though. San Sebastian got one more break, as Ferrer stepped on the line after pulling down a long rebound. With five seconds left though, Abueva could only launch an airball, bringing an end to an epic game.
After being rumored to be jumping to the UAAP in the off-season, Abueva contributed beastly numbers, 33 points and 18 rebounds. But his was a double-edged performance as he also turned the ball over eight times, missed all seven three-point attempts and hit just 11 out of 23 charities. Maiquez added 19 points and Ronald Pascual showcased his all-around game, with 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
“Medyo marami kaming mental mistakes,” said Jarencio when the dust settled, but he noted the character of his charges in coming back from the early deficit, saying, “It’s [character] there already, kaya lumabas kami [at the FilOil Tournament]“. W5
UST 104 – Abdul 23, Ferrer 17, Fortuna 17, Teng 14, Camus 11, Bautista 8, Afuang 5, Tan 5, Lo 2, Sheriff 2, Pe 0, Aytona 0, Ungria 0
San Sebastian 102 – Abueva 33, Maiquez 19, Pascual 13, del Rio 9, Semira 8, Jumao-as 8, Miranda 6, Sangalang 4, Vitug 2, Antipuesto 0, J. dela Cruz 0
Quarter scores: 23-31, 47-45, 68-67, 86-86, 93-93, 104-102