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Daquioag explodes in fourth as UST escapes FEU

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The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers are still perfect this young season as they defeated the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in a Wednesday afternoon thriller at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

From the get-go, UST settled with running in transition that gave them their early baskets while also taking the early advantage against FEU. A series of lead exchanges was showcased with a back-and-forth action taking place to start the match. By the four-minute mark of the first, Mario Bonleon made a basket to turn it into a 12-8 game just before FEU tied it with a 7-3 counter as free throws helped increase the score for the Tamaraws. But it was UST who took a slim three-point lead after the first 10 minutes of action.

Despite the slow start with FEU knocking on the door in the second, Abdul and Bonleon made baskets to maintain their 30-23 edge to the second quarter. The Tamaraws, on the other end, piled up the turnovers and seemed lost in making and executing their plays. UST built a 9-0 run in the middle of the quarter, including successive layups from Bonleon to help his team build a six-point edge at halftime. By the half, the duo already tallied half of the scoring of the Tigers in addition to Abdul’s impressive interior resistance.

A fast start to the second half was showcased when the two teams had a good exchange offensively, which combined for 23 points in nearly four minutes into the third. Afterwards, FEU started to make its charge as they romped up the points and played stellar defense on the other end. At the last minutes of the quarter, RR Pogoy made two big baskets to swing the lead back for the Tamaraws. On the other hand, UST had a hard time converting from the perimeter as they missed shots to halt FEU’s surge. The Tamaraws ended up taking the lead after three quarters, limiting the Tigers to only eight points in the last six minutes of the canto.

The highly intense fourth quarter started with the team’s veterans providing the necessary points. Despite an unusual game for Tolomia, his basket gave the Tamaraws a 60-56 lead just before UST built its run of its own. A good shooting exchange made the game close as deadlocks piled up in the final period. Ed Daquioag started to run in transition as he made crucial plays including three straight buckets to give the Tigers back the lead at 72-69 with over two minutes to go.

A Russell Escoto triple was ruled to be a long two pointer after a review that favored UST as the Tigers retain their solitary point of a cushion. Despite Sheriff missing two free throws at the tail-end of the quarter that could have solidified the lead, FEU committed two crucial turnovers down the stretch as UST’s last stop did not let the Tamaraws to take even an attempt at the rim.

UST senior Ed Daquioag led all scorers with 18 points, including 12 from the final frame. He was excellent on the field shooting at 60%, 9/15 and added five boards, two dimes, and a steal. Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer added 13 points and eight boards while Karim Abdul had 12 and 6.

On the other end, Smart Elite ambassador Mark Belo had 17 points, including 3/3 from downtown, and had three steals. Roger Pogoy added 13 points and had three steals as well.

The Growling Tigers (2-0) will face the UP Fighting Maroons (2-0) on September 13, Sunday at 2:00pm while the FEU Tamaraws look to recover from this loss in facing the DLSU Green Archers on the same day at 4:00pm. Both games will be played at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

UST (72) – Daquioag 18, Ferrer 13, Abdul 12, Bonleon 9, Sheriff 7, Vigil 6, Lao 4, Lee 3, Faundo 0, Huang 0

FEU (71) – Belo 17, Pogoy 13, Jose 12, Escoto Ru. 9, Tolomia 8, Dennison 5, Arong 4, Inigo 3, Escoto Ri. 0, Orizu 0, Tamsi 0, Trinidad 0

Quarters: 17-14, 34-28, 54-58, 72-71

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