Friday, 7 December 2012 49 Comments
The UST Growling Tigers won its first ever Philippine Collegiate Championship League (PCCL) title by pulling-off a pulsating 81-76 win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles in Game 3 of their best-of-three championship series December 7 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
After a 19-all deadlock in the first quarter, the Growling Tigers caught the Blue Eagles flat-footed in the 2nd period with sophomore Kevin Ferrer hitting 9 of his 21 points to push them to a 45-39 advantage at halftime.
“After all our sacrifices, we finally won a title against one of the nation’s best collegiate teams,” said Ferrer, who hit three triples and made 6-of-10 shots from the field including 9 rebounds and 4 assists. “This victory is very sweet.”
The Blue Eagles, winner of five consecutive titles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball, threatened the Growling Tigers at the end of third frame with only a 57-60 margin in the final minute of 4th period.
Jeric Teng, who copped the league’s Most Valuable Player trophy, finished with 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc along plus 6 rebounds, while Jeric Fortuna had 11 points while Karim Abdul contributed for 8 points and 9 rebounds.
“At last, we got even with Ateneo,” said Teng, nailed 13 points in the fourth quarter including three booming triples that fueled UST’s 17-5 blitz to erect a 79-67 lead early in the fourth period.
“This victory has inspired us. We worked hard for it.”
But Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena and Ryan Buenafe, combined for 40 points, jolted UST’s defense in the final two-minutes with clutch baskets and converted their important free throw attempts to cut the Growling Tigers’ 12-point lead to only 76-79 with only 39 seconds remaining.
Ferrer though scored on a put back after a Karim Abdul miss to provide UST an 81-76 lead with 10.5 seconds left. Buenafe muffed a three-pointer while Jeric Teng secured the rebound at the final buzzer.
“We really worked hard tow in the championship and we’re happy that we got it,” said UST mentor Pido Jarencio, who also won the league’s best coach award. “This win goes to the UST community for its all-out support.”
UST won Game 1 of the series (82-76) but Ateneo managed to force a do-or-die game after winning Game 2 (70-69).
Besides the championship trophy, the Growling Tigers will also take home a cool PhP 700, 000.00.
UST 81- Teng 22, Ferrer 21, Fortuna 11, Abdul 8, Bautista 7, Dacquioag 6, Afuang 4, Mariano 2, Hainga 0, Pe 0, Lo 0
Ateneo 76- Ravena 20, Buenafe 20, Slaughter 11, Salva 9, Elorde 7, Tiongson 5, Sumalinog 3, Chua 1, Golla 0, Gonzaga 0
Quarter Scores: 19-19; 45-39; 60-57; 81-76
By Josef Ramos