Bautista layup lifts UST to 78-77 win over Letran
by rick olivares
Clark Bautista drove in for a lay-up to lift the University of Santo Tomas to a 78-77 victory over brother Dominican school Letran yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Bautista’s lay-up with 3.7 seconds left in the game clock capped off a stirring 26-8 run to close out the game. Letran’s Mark Cruz had the chance to win it at the buzzer but his three-point attempt was short.
Letran seized control of the match in latter part of the third and early fourth period beginning with a pair of triples by Cruz. It was Cruz who also scored on layup to give Letran its biggest lead of 17, 69-52, at the 6:18 mark of the fourth period.
Aljon Mariano scored five straight points to put the Growling Tigers on the comeback trail.
“Sinabi ko sa mga player ko ang hindi dumepensa, bakla,” said UST head coach Pido Jarencio in jest. “Ang dumepensa, He-Man. Eh, dumepensa sila kaya He-Man sila.”
The Tigers then sprung a full court press on the Knights who couldn’t execute their offense. Although more known for their outside shooting, Jarencio’s charges opted to drive in for the higher percentage shot.
Letran looked to stave off UST’s rally when the Knights’ McJour Luib hit a triple from the left corner for a 77-68 lead with 2:28 to play but he gave it right back when he fouled Tiger Ed Daquioag on his three-point try.
Unfortunately for Letran, they would not score again as Daquioag hit all three free throws to bring the lead down to 77-71. Bautista followed that up with a fastbreak layup. Daquioag added a free throw and Kevin Ferrer drove in for a layup with 32 seconds left.
Cruz attacked the lane for a pull up jumper but it hit the front rim and UST went out on the fastbreak. The ball was pitched to Bautista on the three-point line forcing Letran center Raymond Almazan to come out. The graduating UST shooting guard faked off Almazan then drove in for an uncontested basket.
The win gave UST a 3-2 record the same as its brother school from the NCAA.
The Tigers were without Jeric Teng who was still out with a minor injury while Karim Abdul was sent home by Jarencio for arriving late to the game.
Almazan led Letran with 17 points including three slam dunks including one where he posterized UST center Robert Hainga who challenged him on the fastbreak.
UST 78 – Mariano 18, Bautista 17, Ferrer 15, Daquioag 9, Lo 6, Pe 4, Hainga 4, Tan 3, Gavia 2, Sheriff 0, Marata 0, Lao 0, Faundo 0.
Letran 77 – Almazan 17, Cruz 13, Gabawan 13, Nambatac 8, Buenaflor 7, Luib 6, Publico 4, Po 3, Castro 2, Ruaya 2, Dysam 2.
Quarterscores: 21-12, 43-39, 52-61, 78-77