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Ferrer’s outside sniping clinches twice-to-beat for UST

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In the final game of the regular season for both squads, MVP candidate Kevin Ferrer displayed cold-hearted shooting to lead the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in a wire-to-wire victory over the Adamson University Soaring Falcons 78-63 to clinch twice-to-beat adavantage Wednesday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Knowing the importance of the twice-to-beat incentive, the Growling Tigers immediately blasted the young Falcons with a 12-0 start. Ferrer started the rally with a layup while a fastbreak layup by Louie Vigil capped the rally. Moreover, the Falcons were held scoreless in the first 5:15 of the game. After a Ferrer layup that extended UST’s lead to 16-4, the Falcons went on an 8-0 run highlighted by a dunk by freshman JD Tungcab. A three-pointer by Kent Lao halted the Adamson rally while a jumper by Vigil closed the quarter with the Yellow and Black squad holding a 21-14 lead to end the first quarter.

Tungcab took charge for the Soaring Falcons to start the second quarter. As the hot shooting off the Growling Tigers went cold, the rookie slashed his way through the lanes in scoring five points in the quarter. A Pape Sarr layup with 3:23 remaining in the half cut the lead to just four, 28-24. A hard drive by Vigil sparked a 9-2 rally by UST capped by a triple by Marvin Lee to give UST a 37-26 lead entering the break.

In the second half, it was all UST. Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer torched the San Marcelino cagers in draining three straight triples to open the third canto that extended the UST lead to 14. Even an 8-0 rally by the Falcons could not stop the UST rampage as Embons Bonleon and Karim Abdul poured it on to give their team a 57-44 lead entering the final frame.

Ferrer then put on the finishing touches in the game in scoring seven fourth quarter points. Moreover, by the 9:25 mark of the fourth, the senior was also able to notch a double-double in grabbing his tenth rebound. A stepback three by Ferrer with 4:21 to go gave UST its biggest lead of the game 73-48. Baskets by Ochea and Nalos in the end game were fruitless as the lead was insurmountable. UST clinched the first twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four with a 78-63 win.

A proud UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz said that the team deserves this twice-to-beat advantage as they had work all season long to get this. “Siyempre, pinaghirapan namin yung elimination round. Gusto namin yung twice-to-beat.”

Ferrer, who led the Growling Tigers with 25 points on a blistering 9/14 shooting and grabbing ten boards, disclosed that this was a good confidence-builder for the team come the Final Four. “Dito kami kukuha ng kumpiyansa patungo sa Final Four,” he said. “Pero hindi pa namin gusto ang performance namin. Kelangan pa namin galingan sa susunod.”

Describing the mindset UST has right now, Abdul, who had nine points and four boards, said it best in saying, “This is just the start. We are aiming for the finals and we need to get back to practice. We need to work harder.”

Vigil and Daquoiag were also able to score in double-figures for UST. The former had 15 markers whiel Daquioag almost had a double-double with 11 points and eight boards.

For Adamson, Pape Sarr led the team in scoring 12 points and was able to grab 11 boards. He was just 5/13 from the field and was forced to commit five turnovers. Playing in their final collegiate game, Nico Capote had ten points, on just 4/11 shooting, while Joseph Nalos was just 1/6 from the field but was 6/8 from the charity stripe to score eight markers. Smart Elite ambassador Dawn Ochea was able to score nine points, all from free throws (9/10), in just 12 minutes of action.

As a team, the Soaring Falcons shot a horrible 26.15% from the field while the victors were able to shoot 41.89%. The Growling Tigers though had a 20-9 advantage in second chance points and were able to knock down seven more triples than the Soaring Falcons.

With the win, the Growling Tigers (11-3) will close out the elimination round with a top two seed pending the performance of the FEU Tamaraws in their last two assignments. The Adamson Soaring Falcons will finish at eight place with a 3-11 record.

The Scores:
UST (78) – Ferrer 25, Vigil 15, Daquioag 11, Abdul 9, Lao 6, Bonleon 5, Faundo 4, Lee 3, Sheriff 0, Subido 0, Arana 0, Caunan 0, Aburasad 0, Garrido 0, Huang 0, Suarez 0.
ADU (63) – Sarr 12, Capote 10, Ochea 9, Nalos 8, Tungcab 8, Polican 5, Fernandez 4, J. Garcia 3, Villanueva 2, Bernardo 1, Margallo 0, C. Garcia 0, Escalambre 0, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 37-26, 57-44, 78-63.

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