Derige fires career-high 26 as Warriors slay Tigers

Clark Derige (11) upstages Ed Daquioag (8) of UST to power UE to a big upset win in the UAAP Season 78. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines - Clark Derige exploded for a career-high 26 points as the UE Red Warriors brought down a giant in the UST Growling Tigers, 91-77, on Wednesday and fanned their Final Four hopes in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball.

Derige scored nine in a decisive run in the fourth quarter where the Tigers trimmed a 12-point deficit into just a single basket.  After Kevin Ferrer hit a trey that pulled the Tigers within two, 71-73, with 2:50 left, Derige answered with five straight points including a tough shot against Karim Abdul to give the Warriors enough cushion for the victory.

Derige shot 10-of-18 from the floor to eclipse his previous high of 12 points he scored against Adamson in the first round. 

The Warriors improved to 4-7 win-loss mark, just half a game behind defending the National University Bulldogs (5-7), and a full game behind the De La Salle University Green Archers (5-6) in a tight race for one of the bottom spots in the Final Four. 

The Tigers dropped their second in their last three games to slide to 9-3 despite drawing Karim Abdul's best game of the season.  Abdul's 25-point and 15-rebound effort went for naught as the Warriors' frenetic full court pressure limited Ferrer and Ed Daquioag to just a combined 21 points on 7-of-26 shooting.

Chris Javier backstopped Derige with 13 points on 6-of-8 clip while collecting six boards, three assists and four shot blocks in an all-around game from the Warriors' team captain.

     

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