THE UST Growling Tigers fell short against the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in overtime, 89-81, in the 11th Filoil Flying V Premier Preseason Cup at the Arena in San Juan Wednesday.
Down by 11 points midway the last quarter, the Tigers rode on a 14-2 run, capped by a Marvin Lee trey, to take the lead with a minute remaining, 75-74. Letran’s Jerick Balanza split his free throws to force an extra period.
Letran scored five straight points at the start of overtime before John Calvo drilled in back-to-back free throws with 8.7 ticks remaining to seal the Knights’ first win following four straight losses.
“Kasama na ‘dun ‘yung pressure and fatigue. We went away from the details kung paano tayo nag-comeback na we were sharing the ball, we were scrapping and hustling on defense,” UST assistant coach Bam Ledesma said.
Still recovering from a gall bladder operation, UST head coach Boy Sablan was present at the game but did not call the shots for the Tigers.
The Knights outrebounded UST, 59-42, and committed only 22 turnovers compared to the Tigers’ 27.
Balanza had a game-high 24 points for the Knights while Bong Quinto chipped in 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Steve Akomo’s 23 points, 15 boards and four blocks led the Tigers, who absorbed their fifth loss out of six games. Christian Garcia added 17 markers for UST.
The Tigers, who are at the bottom of Group A, will face NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions on Sunday, June 4, 1:30 p.m., at the same venue.