by John Reczon Calay
The University of the Philippines suffered a painful 63-39 loss after a fourth canto onslaught from the University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The lopsided loss pushed the Maroons, who had two winless seasons on its back, two games away from another 0-14 finish. They will face powerhouse Far Eastern University and the University of the East for their final games of the season.
The pressure from the horror of 2007 and 2010 ate away the players’ spirit in the final quarter, crumbling after keeping the Tigers within striking distance at the end of the third at 40-33. Sam Marata was the only Maroon player who finished with a double digit output with 12 points, while usual scorers Raul Soyud and Henry Asilum combined for seven markers.
The España squad, meanwhile, flourished in their offense led by Aljon Mariano, who scattered 18 points, and Kevin Ferrer with 12 of his own. The Tigers capped their win with a 23-6 rampage in the payoff period.
To add to UP’s woes, center Martin Pascual went down with an ACL injury early in the first quarter.
UST 63 – Mariano 18, Ferrer 12, Daquioag 9, Teng 9, Abdul 7, Bautista 3, Faundo 2, Pe 2, Lao 1
UP 39 – Marata 12, Lao 6, Ball 5, Soyud 5, Asilum 2, Desiderio 2, Gallarza 2, Suarez 2, Wong 2, Harris 1
Quarter scores: 14-13, 23-20, 40-33, 63-39