Saturday, 20 April 2013 54 Comments
The UST Growling Tigers atoned for their fourth quarter meltdown in their first game against DLSU by successfully executing clutch plays to rout the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 63-57, in the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
Aljon Mariano proved once more how much of a bane he is to Ateneo’s winning ways by delivering again in the clutch to give his squad their first win.
The Tigers operated on a slow start, allowing Ateneo to lead 13-3 in the 3:40 mark of the first quarter before clawing back via an 11-2 run to cap off the opening period down only 14-15.
But the Tigers still could not get past Ateneo in the second period, resulting in a 7-point advantage by the Katipunan cagers at the half, 23-30.
Tides changed as the Tigers pressed on the gas come the third canto, opening it with a 14-2 run. Mariano brought the Tigers to within one with a turnaround jumper as his squad continued to get the necessary defensive stops. Karim Abdul, who had 14 points along with 11 rebounds, then completed a three-point play that finally put UST on top. Clark Bautista, who added 8 points, capped off the pulsating run with a trey at the 4:55 mark.
The España boys continued to press to finish the third period with a 45-42 lead.
Kiefer Ravena was clearly not in his element as he only had 7 points and missed a wide open layup from the break that could have brought down UST’s lead to 1.
The first few minutes of the payoff period saw Ateneo’s Von Pessumal and UST’s Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag exchanging triples.
It was a big game for Pessumal who led his team’s scoring with 15 markers on 75% shooting from three-point range.
Forward Chris Newsome also stepped up for his Eagles to try and clasp their potential fourth win. Newsome delivered crucial baskets that kept his squad within reach of the Tigers, including a go-ahead breakaway jam to lead 53-52 with 3:48 remaining.
UST was forced to play a quick catch-up game as the Eagles posted a 4-point lead, 57-53, courtesy of a floater by Newsome with over 2 minutes left.
That was the last that Ateneo would score.
Mariano then saved the day once more.
He proceeded to scoring the next 6 points in a 10-0 final run, as Ferrer delivered the dagger trey and Teng swished in one of his final two charities to erect the final score.
“Yung sistema talaga kailangan i-follow lang namin. Kung ano ‘yung pinapagawa sa amin ni Coach Pido, tuloy lang namin,” remarked Asst. Coach Estong Ballesteros who took over the coaching duties in the absence of head coach Pido Jarencio who called in sick. “Kasi ang nangyari sa amin nung first half nagka-kanya kanya. Kaya nung halftime nag-wakeup call ako sa mga bata.”
Aljon believed that teamwork was the main key to their victory sans a resident point guard. “Nung halftime nag-usap kami. Kailangan mag-execute kami, kailangan teamwork para manalo.”
The Tigers are currently using a 3-man rotation for the point guard slot that include Robin Tan, Ed Daquioag and Clark Bautista. According to Coach Estong, Jeric Teng is the “emergency” point guard.
“‘Di basehan sa team ‘yung kung wala kang point guard basta sama-sama kayo,” he said.
Mariano- 19, Abdul- 14, Ferrer- 13, Bautista- 8, Daquioag- 4, Teng- 3, Pe- 2
Pessumal- 15, Newsome- 14, Ravena- 7, Tiongson- 7, Elorde- 6, Golla- 4, Murphy- 4
Quarter scores: 14-15, 23-30, 45-42, 63-57