THE UST Growling Tigers are on the verge of being booted out of contention in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament after falling to the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 61-53, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, Nov. 4.
Coming off the Undas break, both teams kicked off the game taking turns pushing the pace. The España-based squad had a slight advantage in the opening frame, 20-19.
The leveled matchup continued in the second salvo. But the Falcons took over after guard Joshua Yerro drilled a triple at the end of the first half, 35-32.
UST could not afford another field goal in the third frame after forward Tiger Christian Manaytay tied the game, 39-all. Adamson seized the opportunity as Falcon Matthew Montebon knocked down a midranger to put the Falcons ahead, 47-40. Yerro added to the lead after an unsportsmanlike foul from Tiger Migs Pangilinan to end the third, 48-40.
UST had a 10-2 run to start the last quarter, capped off by a Manaytay layup to trail by only two, 52-50. However, Adamson responded with three consecutive triples from Montebon and Didap Hanapi to widen the gap, 61-50, with 2:49 left on the clock.
Manaytay was the only Tiger who scored in double-digits, tallying 13 points, with eight rebounds and three blocks. UST star Nic Cabañero, who came off the bench, had an off-night after contributing only nine points as he shot 3-of-15 from the field.
Yerro dropped 17 points, three boards, four dimes, with four triples to boost Adamson’s final four hopes.
UST, the worst team in the league, is now on a three-game skid with a record of 1-9 in the standings. Adamson occupies the fourth spot in the league, 5-5. The UST Growling Tigers will try to elude elimination in their game against defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles at the SMART Araneta Coliseum on Nov. 8. F