MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons fought valiantly, but had no answer for Ed Daquioag in the end.
In a battle between the remaining undefeated teams in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament, the UST Growling Tigers came away with their hands raised in victory over the Fighting Maroons, 67-59, on Sunday, September 13 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
UP could not contain Daquioag when it mattered most, as the veteran Growling Tiger scored 13 of his 27 points in the final 6 minutes of the game.
The fifth-year standout also pulled down 6 rebounds while Kevin Ferrer registered 16 points and 10 boards. Karim Abdul scored 8 points and grabbed 8 boards.
The win improved UST’s record to 3-0 and extended their winning streak over UP to 17. The Maroons fell to 2-1.
“Siguro swinerte lang kami na execute namin yung defense namin at yung offense,” UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz said after the game.
(Maybe we just got lucky with executing our defensive and offensive plays.)
Some of it was luck, but a lot of it was Daquioag, who kick-started UST’s game-winning run with a 3-ball that put his team ahead 51-44 with under 6 minutes to go.
After Paul Desiderio answered with a bucket, Daquioag hit another shot in the paint. Over the next few minutes, he continued to put points on the board with free throws and two more field goals.
UST was on top 61-54 with 37.9 seconds left when UP second-year standout Diego Dario hit a critical layup. Growling Tigers sophomore Renzo Subido then hit two free throws to keep his team ahead by 7, but on the next possession, Dario hit his own set of charities to trim the edge once again.
Daquioag then lost the ball after the inbound, but Desiderio was unable to capitalize as he missed a floater in the paint. Ferrer then retrieved the rebound and sealed the win at the foul stripe.
“Siguro mataas na siya, kasi alam ko na isa na ako sa mga leader nang team. Kailangan set a good example sa mga teammates ko,” Daquioag said about his confidence after the game.
(I guess it’s high, because I know I’m one of the team’s leaders. I need to set a good example.)
“Si Ed, yung confidence niya (his confidence) is very high. He’s just enjoying the game,” Dela Cruz said.
Dario led UP with 15 points, while Desiderio had 12 points and 7 boards. Manuel finished with 9 points but shot 9-of-11 from the field.
UST outscored UP in the paint, 32-22, but was outshot in the perimeter, 28-12. 20 turnovers hurt the Maroons, leading to 20 Tiger points.
UST will aim to go 4-0 against the struggling and winless NU Bulldogs (0-2) on Saturday, September 19. UP will look to bounce back with a win against the FEU Tamaraws next Sunday, September 20.
UST (67): Daquioag 27, Ferrer 16, Abdul 8, Subido 4, Vigil 4, Bonleon 3, Lee 3, Sheriff 2, Huang 0, Lao 0, Suarez 0
UP (59): Dario 15, Desiderio 12, Manuel 9, Kone 6, Gallarza 5, Moralde 4, Juruena 3, Vito 3, Lim 2, Amar 0, Asilum 0, Harris 0, Jaboneta 0, Longa 0, Prado 0
Quarter scores: 10-4, 21-15, 42-40, 67-59