University of Santo Tomas trounced De La Salle-Zobel, 75-62, for its third straight win and rise to a share of the second spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 high school boys’ basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Five Tiger Cubs scored in double-digits led by Doy Dungo with 13 points along with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block.
“We are happy with our consecutive victories, but we are not yet satisfied because we still have a lot of lapses. Even our chemistry is not yet perfect because we tend to relax every time we have a huge lead. We still need to work hard,” said UST coach Manu Iñigo, whose wards improved to 3-1 to forge a tie at the second spot with National University Nazareth School.
The Junior Archers pulled within one after a three-pointer by Kieffer Alas midway through the third period but Charles Bucsit, Kurt Velasquez, Koji Buenaflor and Joaquin Ludovice responded to establish a 13-point Tiger Cubs lead, 54-41, that they never relinquished the rest of the way.
Buenaflor added 12 points and eight rebounds for the streaking UST while Carl Manding chipped in 11 points and eight boards as well.
JB Lim also impressed with 10 points, eight steals, seven rebounds, and three steals, while Ludovice chimed in with 10 points.
Alas, who came off a triple-double performance against UPIS last Sunday, unloaded 27 points with 19 coming in the second half. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out three assists, and recorded three steals against five turnovers.
Maco Dabao also delivered 16 points for the Junior Archers but went just 6-of-23 from the field.
Meanwhile, defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman banked on the heroics of Cabs Cabonillas to overcome the gallant stand of University of the Philippines Integrated School, 84-82, in the first game.
Cabonillas received a pass inside the paint from Liam Salangsang to shoot the game-winning layup with 3.2 seconds left. Rocco Melicor almost ended the Junior Fighting Maroons’ 16-game skid with a half-court shot that hit the rim but bounced out.
“With the way we’re playing, I think we deserve the 2-2 record,” said FEU-D coach Allan Albano, whose wards forged a tie at the fourth spot with DLSZ.
“We also need a little adjustment in our next game. Hats off to UPIS for playing well.”
Albano fielded all of his 16 players led by Stephen Cabigting’s 16 points, Cabonillas’ 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, and Omar Gordon’s 13 points.