THE UST Growling Tigers suffered their third loss of the season against the UE Red Warriors, 77-91, in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum yesterday.
The Tigers, who fell to a 9-3 win loss card, also failed to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four in the loss.
UST entered the fourth quarter facing a 52-62 deficit, before cutting UE’s lead to just two, 71-73 with three minutes remaining in the game.
The Red Warriors then countered by unleashing a seven-point swing and by forcing the Tigers to commit back-to-back turnovers to put the game out of reach, 80-71.
Karim Abdul recorded a double-double with 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Tigers in the loss.
Leading scorers Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer were held to just 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Tigers head coach Bong Dela Cruz commended UE’s full-court defense, which limited UST to just 39 percent from the field.
“Medyo flat kami today eh. May mga crucial turnovers kami na nag-cost ng game. Sobrang ganda ng full-court trap nila, ‘di kami naka-execute ng pasa e,” Dela Cruz said.
Clark Derige scored 26 points for the Red Warriors, who also forced the Tigers into 24 turnovers.
The Tigers will look to bounce back this Saturday, 4 PM against the streaking Far Eastern University Tamaraws at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
UE  - Derige 26, Javier 13, P. Varilla 10, Abanto 10, Batiller 9, Charcos 8, Manalang 6, Palma 4, Gagate 2, J. Varilla 2, Sta. Ana 1.
UST  - Abdul 25, Daquioag 11, Ferrer 10, Vigil 9, Lee 9, Lao 6, Sheriff 4, Bonleon 2, Subido 1, Garrido 0.