UST does not go winless, does all that's needed to down UE

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 12, 2017 02:20 PM
UST does not go winless, does all that's needed to down UE
IN THE NICK OF TIME. Steve Akomo and UST have always had what it takes and all finally came together in their last assignment in the season.

The UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament did not go as planned for University of Sto. Tomas.

Still, the proud program wasn’t going winless.

Reggie Boy Basibas, Steve Akomo, and Marvin Lee made sure of that as the Tigers finally growled for the first time in the season and clawed University of the East for an 88-85 decision on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coming into the contest, one of the winningest schools in the league had dropped each and every one of their first 13 assignments.

And so, faced with the prospect of making history in the wrong way, UST showed what its capable of at long last.

Even as the Red Warriors came as close as 79-80, lady luck still looked like she was favoring the Tigers as Lee made good on a banked shot and Basibas’ steal led to a split from the stripe for an 84-79 advantage in their favor.

UE again wielded its vaunted full court press and pulled to within 85-85 only to see Oliver De Guzman convert his couple of charities and Alvin Pasaol fail to get a shot up.

Not long after, the boys from Espana were celebrating their long-awaited and much-wanted first win. “Siyempre, masaya kasi hindi kami na-zero,” head coach Boy Sablan said post-game.

Basibas wound up with 21 points, 12 coming in the final frame, on top of nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Akomo had 18 points, 20 rebounds, and six blocks while Enric Caunan posted his own 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Lee also chipped in six of his 11 points in the payoff period.

A 1-13 record is far from what UST has been used to, but it still wasn’t the winless season just about everybody was talking about. “Part ng rebuilding process namin ‘to. Sana magtuloy-tuloy na,” Sablan said.

For UE, Pasaol topped the scoring column with 18 points, but only had three in the fourth. Rookies Jason Varilla and Mark Maloles also added 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Those proved far from enough, however, to give them a happy ending to what was a feel-good campaign. They end the season at 3-11.


UST 88 - Basibas 21, Akomo 18, Caunan 14, Lee 11, Garcia 10, De Guzman 6, Sta. Ana 4, Escalambre 2, Macasaet 2, Romero 0, Huang 0, Faundo 0.

UE 85 - Pasaol 18, Varilla 16, Maloles 15, Conner 10, Acuño 8, Cullar 7, Manalang 7, Bartolome 2, Olayon 2, Derige 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 23-15, 43-39, 63-61, 88-85.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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