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Sports

Tigers get back at NU Bulldogs, share lead

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Silent virtually all game, Ed Daquioag exploded when it mattered the most.

Daquioag knocked down two big buckets down the stretch as Santo Tomas exacted revenge on first-round tormentor National U, 65-57, to gain a share of the lead and secure at least a playoff for a Final Four seat in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tourney at the MOA Arena yesterday.

“Nakabawi na kami. Noong first round tinalo nila kami kaya ang battlecry namin ay makabawi sa kanila. Pero matagal pa ang tournament (It was payback time. They beat us in the first round so our battlecry was to get back at them. But it’s still a long way to go),” said UST coach Bong dela Cruz.

The Tigers picked up their fifth straight win for 8-1 overall, tying idle Far Eastern at the top and moving a win closer to the F4. The  Bulldogs absorbed their third consecutive loss for 3-6 and sixth spot.

In the first game, Ateneo came out of a two-game slump and routed Adamson, 87-72, to boost its bid.

Daquioag finished with just 10 but his four in the fourth was crucial in giving the Tigers a 60-57 cushion with 1:22 left.

Kevin Ferrer led with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds while Karim Abdul also had 13, scoring five in the payoff period to help the Tigers quash NU’s furious uprising.

The Tigers led by as many as 14 in the third and entered the fourth with a 51-40 tear. But NU, through Gelo Alolino unleashed a 15-3 bomb to wrest the lead, 55-54, before Daquioag, Abdul and Ferrer joined hands in a 9-2 windup.

Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles grabbed a share of third with a 5-4 win-loss card.

The game had a heated moment at the 5:23 mark of the third when Adamson’s Joseph Nalos jumped off a fake by Ateneo’s Vince Tolentino and brought the Eagle down hard. Ravena rushed to his teammate and pushed Nalos hard. Nalos was slapped a disqualifying foul – an action that merits an automatic one-game suspension – while Ravena was called for an unsportsmanlike foul.

 

ABDUL AND FERRER

ACIRC

ADAMSON

ATENEO

BLUE EAGLES

DAQUIOAG

ED DAQUIOAG

FAR EASTERN

FINAL FOUR

GELO ALOLINO

JOSEPH NALOS

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