MANILA – University of Santo Tomas Tigers bagged their first win under head coach Aldin Ayo as they squeaked past Far Eastern University Tamaraws 76-74 in UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Henri Lorenzo Subido bounced back from subpar showing in the opening day with 18 points while Marvin Lee and rookie Joshua Marcos added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Tigers on Wednesday night.
Defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, meanwhile, nearly wasted a double-digit advantage but managed to escape with an 87-79 win over University of the Philippines Maroons.
Trailing 15-17 at the end of opening period, Tigers unloaded a huge run in the second quarter behind Subido, Marcos and Steve Akomo to surge to a 39-32 halftime advantage.
Tamaraws responded with a run in the second half and were able to tie the count 64-all on inside hits by Prinze Orizu, but Tigers came up with shots from Crispin Cansino, Subido and Zachary Huang for a 70-67 edge.
FEU rallied to within a single point several times but UST came up with shots from Germie Mahinay and Kenneth Zamora for a 76-71 edge. Tamaraws rallied to within 74-76 and had a chance to snatch the win but Arvin Tolentino’s triple missed.
Orizu finished with career-high 25 points to go along with 15 rebounds while Hubert Cani chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Tamaraws, which tied with Tigers (1-1).
In the other game, after leading by as much as 13 points midway in the fourth, Maroons clawed their way back to within 70-75 but timely shots from Thirdy Ravena sealed the win for good for Blue Eagles.
Ravena led the way with 17 points while Anton Asistio and Angelo Kouame added 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Blue Eagles (1-1). Juan Gomez de Llano finished with 29 markers for Maroons (1-1)./PN