With sophomore guard Marvin Lee showing the way, host University of Santo Tomas got back at National U on Saturday night, 73-69 to stop a five-game bleeding in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 5-foot-9 Lee drilled in a game-high 22 points, half of them coming in the final canto, that helped the Growling Tigers stay in control and deal yet another painful loss to the struggling Bulldogs.
Wingman Louie Vigil also came up big with an all-around performance of 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals while guard Jon Sheriff added 19 markers and a game-high six steals for UST.
The Growling Tigers avenged a 68-75 setback dealt by the Bulldogs in their first-round meeting last Sept. 25.
“It’s all about team effort, team defense,” beamed UST coach Rodil “Boy” Sablan. “‘Yun ‘yung problema namin the past few games. Nagtrabaho ang mga bata. Gusto nilang manalo at gusto nilang dumipensa.”
Matt Salem tallied 20 points while Cameroon import Alfred Aroga had a double-double of 13 markers and 15 rebounds but they still could not prevent the Bulldogs from suffering their third straight loss and fifth overall in nine starts, dropping into a tie with idle Adamson at the fourth and final semifinals berth. – Jerome Lagunzad
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UST 73 – Lee 22, Vigil 20, Sheriff 19, Faundo 4, Lao 2, Arana 2, Subido 2, Basibas 2, Afoakwah 0, Huang 0, De Guzman 0, Macasaet 0
NU 69 – Salem 20, Aroga 13, Diputado R 12, Gallego 8, Sinclair 8, Alejandro 3, Salim 3, Mosqueda 2, Morido 0, Diputado C 0, Rangel 0, Go 0, Pate 0
Quarterscores: 22-14, 34-34, 54-47, 73-69.