NCAA juniors MVP Amiel Acido made his debut for the Growling Tigers as UST secured a crucial 58-54 victory over the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the 17th Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup at the Filoil EcoOil Centre on Wednesday, June 5.

Acido had eight points and three rebounds in his first game since committing to UST’s men’s basketball team.

“Malaki ang maitutulong niya (Acido) sa team,” UST head coach Pido Jarencio said postgame. “We’re excited kasi we’re getting an MVP so mabigat ‘yon.”

The Tigers improved to a 3-3 record, tying with the FEU Tamaraws. Both teams will compete at the same venue tomorrow, June 6, at 1 p.m. for the final playoff spot.

A layup by Angelo Crisostomo gave UST a 37-32 lead by halftime. 

With UST leading by four early in the fourth quarter, 50-46, the Tigers extended their lead with a 6-0 run, achieving their biggest lead of the game at 56-46, four minutes into the final frame.

Adamson countered with an 8-2 run for the rest of the game, but UST maintained its lead to secure the victory.

Hinda Tounkura paced the Tigers with a double-double performance of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Forthsky Padrigao had seven points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with two assists. 

UST captain Nic Cabañero also contributed eight points and four steals despite shooting 1-of-10 from the field. 

Matty Erolon led the Falcons with 12 points, while AJ Fransman tallied 10 points and seven rebounds