Fourth year guard Ed Daquiaog saved the day as University of Sto. Tomas escaped threat from Far Eastern University, 72-71, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Basketball Division at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Daquiaog nailed the last six points for the Growling Tigers, which then proved to be the finishing touches for the Espana-based squad’s clean 2-0 starting record.
UST took control of the driver’s seat onset of the first frame and led as much as 7 points over the Tamaraws, but not when the Far Eastern University veterans worked their wonders heading to the second half.
Coach Nash Racela’s wards shrugged setback off and put up a head-on fight against the Growling Tigers, spearheaded by stalwarts Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, and Raymar Jose.
Jose launched the Tamaraws to their 67-66 lead inside the 3:40 left in the final canto, yet Daquiaog was quick to remedy the deficit and put UST back on top.
The Morayta-based squad still gave the Growling Tigers a tough wall to break when Rusell Escoto notched another lead for FEU at 71-72, but the 1-point deficit served as the Tamaraws’ last hurrah as Mac Belo failed to secure the final ball possession.
Ed Daquiaog’s heroics reached up to 18 points, 12 of which shot on the fourth period alone, while Kevin Ferrer added 12 markers for University of Sto. Tomas.
In addition, veteran import Karim Abdul unloaded 12 hits for the Espana-based dribblers.
Meanwhile, team captain Mac Belo had 17 points, followed by Roger Pogoy with 13 points, and Raymar Jose capped off with 12 kills for Far Eastern University.
The Tamaraws evened their starting record, 1-1, after opening Season 78 with a blowout win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
UST (72) – Daquioag 18, Ferrer 13, Abdul 12, Bonleon 9, Sheriff 7, Vigil 6, Lao 4, Lee 3, Huang 0, Faundo 0.
FEU (71) – Belo 17, Pogoy 13, Jose 12, Ru. Escoto 9, Tolomia 8, Dennison 5, Arong 4, Inigo 3, Orizu 0, Ri. Escoto 0, Trinidad 0, Tamsi 0.