THE UST Growling Tigers staved off a rally from the defending champions National University Bulldogs to avenge its lone loss of the season, 65-57, at the Mall of Asia Arena today.
Kevin Ferrer and Karim Abdul each had 13 points for the Tigers as they extended their winning streak to five after losing to the Bulldogs in the first round.
NU took the lead in the fourth quarter after Gelo Alolino sank a three-pointer, 55-54, but UST finished the game on an 11-2 run behind crucial baskets from Louie Vigil and Ed Daquioag.
Free throws from Abdul and Ferrer put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs, who were held to only a single field goal in the final three minutes.
Ferrer also had 10 rebounds for UST. Ed Daquioag also chipped in 10 points for UST.
Alolino led the Bulldogs (3-6) with 20 markers.
The win enabled the Tigers to remain tied with the FEU Tamaraws for the top spot with an 8-1 win-loss record.
They will look to notch their ninth win of the season against the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles on Oct. 21, 4PM, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UST  - Abdul 13, Ferrer 13, Daquioag 10, Bonleon 8, Vigil 8, Lao 7, Lee 6, Faundo 0, Sheriff 0, Subido 0.
NU  - Alolino 20, Aroga 14, Alejandro 7, Javelona 6, Diputado 4, Celda 2, Salim 2, Tansingco 2, Abatayo 0, Javillonar 0, Morido 0, Neypes 0.