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Tigers hold off Maroons

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Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. – La Salle vs NU
4 p.m. – FEU vs UE

University of Santo Tomas extended the longest active winning streak by one team against another yesterday.

The Growling Tigers defeated the University of the Philippines Maroons for the 19th straight time after hacking out an 83-77 victory in the UAAP basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

UST lost an 11-point fourth quarter lead but made the timely baskets down the stretch to notch its second win in four games while bouncing back from a dreadful 100-62 loss to La Salle last Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In that game, UST made it tight for most of the first half before La Salle unleashed a furious second half for the most lopsided game of the season’s early stages.

“Almost everybody kinausap ko sila,” said UST coach Boy Sablan. “Kailangan dahil sa nangyari sa amin sa La Salle.

Kailangan yung character namin lumabas na makabangon kami. Yung sipag na wala sa La Salle napakita namin at maganda naman at naglaro sila ng maayos.”

Louie Vigil had 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead UST while Regie Basibas and Oliver de Guzman hit clutch baskets on their way to scoring 11 points apiece.

Jett Manuel finished with 19 points, Diego Dario made 14 points while Paul Desiderio contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but UP remained winless after three games while once again failed to beat UST for the first time since a 70-67 victory at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Aug. 31, 2006.

Hopes of UP ending the drought grew in the fourth when it tied the game twice after erasing a 74-63 deficit.

But Basibas came through for the Tigers with a three-pointer that broke a 71-all tie with less than three minutes left, before de Guzman connected on a jumper that made it 76-71, 2:22 remaining.

Ateneo and Adamson were playing at presstime with the former seeking its third win in four matches.

Meanwhile, unbeaten teams La Salle and National University clash for the solo lead today in what is billed as a finals preview.

The Green Archers, coming off their masterful win over the Tigers, look to stretch their run to four games while the Bulldogs seek their third win in the 2 p.m. opener.

Meeting in the second game at 4 p.m. are defending champion Far Eastern University and winless University of the East.

The scores:
UST 83 – Vigil 18, Basibas 11, De Guzman 11, Lao 10, Subido 10, Faundo 6, Sheriff 6, Lee 6, Huang 4, Afoakwah 1, Macasaet 0.

UP 77 – Manuel 19, Dario 14, Gomez de Lian 12, Desiderio 10, Webb 9, Romero 4, Harris 3, Espanola 3, Longa 2, Lao 1, Asilum 0, Prado 0, Jaboneta 0, Lim 0.

Quarters: 15-11; 34-34; 59-53; 83-77.

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