Paul Manalang caught fire from beyond the arc as University of Santo Tomas edged Adamson University, 79-72, to notch its second straight win in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday, April 2.
Manalang made the difference for the Growling Tigers after draining his fifth triple down the stretch to put up a 69-63 lead for the Tigers before it all boiled down to crunch time.
Joshua Fontanilla did not disappoint as the combo guard scored back-to-back baskets capped by a dagger three with 19.3 seconds left.
Jerom Lastimosa converted another point for Adamson but Nic Cabañero iced the game with a pair of free throws as UST improved to a 2-2 record.
"Hindi na bata tong mga 'to, mga beterano mga 'to," said UST coach Jinino Manansala, "Sabi ko sundan niyo 'yong gameplan. Masisispag ang mga 'to. Expect more from the UST Growling Tigers."
The UST team captain built all of his 15 points from three-pointers on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting to go with five assists and three rebounds while Fontanilla, who transferred from St. Clare, finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Adamson had its chance to put the game within striking distance but Joshua Yerro missed a three-pointer with 40 ticks remaining before Fontanilla drained the crucial trey.
Bryan Santos, who previously played for Technological Institute of the Philippines, came off the bench and chalked up nine points and eight rebounds, Cabanero added eight points and three rebounds, while Sherwin Concepcion, who was key to UST's 74-62 win over University of the East, chipped in seven points and six rebounds.
Jerom Lastimosa led all scorers and flirted with a triple-double after dropping 16 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists while Lenda Douanga had 16 points as well along with seven rebounds for the Falcons, who fell to a 1-3 slate.
UST 79 -- Manalang 15, Fontanilla 10, Santos 9, Cabanero 8, Concepcion 7, Herrera 6, Ando 6, Manaytay 5, Mantua 5, Yongco 3, Gomez de Liano 3, M. Pangilinan 2, Samudio 0, Canoy 0.
ADAMSON 72 -- Lastimosa 16, Douanga 16, Magbuhos 8, Peromingan 7, Zaldivar 6, Sabandal 5, Yerro 4, Colonia 3, Hanapi 3, Manzano 2, Maata 2, Jaymalin 0.
Quarters: 19-16, 45-41, 64-58, 78-72.