Tigers rain treys on Archers, grab share of UAAP lead

Kevin Ferrer (right) scored 17 points in 16 minutes to lead the UST Growling Tigers to their fifth win in six games. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas once again showed its ability to come out of huge holes, unleashing a series of spurts in the last three quarters to rally past La Salle, 77-61, and gain a share of the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball lead Wednesday at the MOA Arena.

The Tigers erased a 14-point deficit with a 12-0 windup in the second then kept their foot on the pedal in the next 20 minutes to secure their fifth victory in six games and join idle Far Eastern U atop the standings.

La Salle fell to an even 3-3 for a share of third with idle National U.

"It was because of our defense. We were down by 14 but we're able to recover and execute our defensive game plan. And it fueled our offense," said UST coach Bong dela Cruz in Filipino.

The Tigers somehow mimicked their effort in their previous win - a 68-58 disposal of Ateneo, in which they launched a strong 26-6 finish to complete their fightback from 16 points down.

UST drew heroics from an assortment of heroes.

Kevin Ferrer, who played only 16 minutes due to foul trouble, fired a game-high 17 spiked by three triples while Karim Abdul (13 markers, 13 rebounds), and Ed Daquioag (11 points, three assists) gave their usual numbers.

Subs Louie Vigil (10 points with two treys) and Kyle Suarez (nine points all from beyond the arc) also put in their share as did starters Marvin Lee (seven) and Mario Bonleon.

With Ferrer riding on the bench and La Salle ahead by four, the Tigers came through with 13 unanswered points to wrest the lead, 47-38, at the 4:28 mark of the third. The Thomasians surged ahead to 19 at 70-51 halfway through the fourth, using the three-point shot as main weapon.

Overall, UST made 11 of its 24 tries from the area.

"That's what I'm really waiting for - for my shooters to hit their shots. This game, we made our three-poniters and everyone stepped up. But it really all started from our defense,' said Dela Cruz.

Ferrer had three fouls as early as the second and spent most of the game sitting it out. The Tigers made their run without him.

"I'm so happy because my brothers stepped up especially on defense," said Ferrer.

UST shot only 27 percent on the field in the first canto but picked up and shot a more accurate 50 percent in the last three periods to turn the tables around.

Jeron Teng (13) and Josh Torralba (12) led scoring for DLSU, which saw its two-game streak snapped.

The Scores:

UST 77 - Ferrer 17, Abdul 13, Daquioag 11, Vigil 10, Suarez 9, Lee 7, Bonleon 6, Sheriff 4, Abdurasad 0, Arana 0, Faundo 0, Garrido 0, Huang 0, Lao 0, Subido 0.

DLSU 61 - Teng 13, Torralba 12, Rivero 10, Torres 8, Caracut 5, Perkins 5, Sargent 4, Muyang 2, Navarro 2, Trater 0.

Quarterscores: 12-18, 31-33, 60-46, 77-61.

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