Growling Tiger Nicael Cabañero tries to get pass through NU's defense. (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

The UST Growling Tigers will miss the UAAP postseason for the second-straight season after suffering their 10th-straight loss, which also eliminated them from Final Four contention, against the NU Bulldogs, 67-57, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday. 

This is the first time since the infamous Boy Sablan era that the Tigers attained a double-digit losing skid.

UST ended the first half with a seven-point lead, 36-29, after shooting an efficient 42.44 percent from the field.

But the tables were turned quickly in the second half as NU opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run, capped by back-to-back triples by Jhon Clemente and Kean Baclaan, 38-37. 

The Tigers were outscored 17-8 in the third quarter. 

UST was up by two, 54-52, in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs pulled away with a 15-3 run that punched them their first Final Four ticket in seven years.

UST assistant coach Rodney Santos said the team lacked maturity as seen in its frequent third-quarter meltdowns.

“True ‘yon (weak third quarter performance), ayan nga consistent kami diyan. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘Eto nanaman tayo sa third quarter, lagi tayong down. Lagi tayong single digit.’ Well, true enough.  Siguro, we need maturity sa players,” Santos said.

UST is now eliminated from the postseason with a 1-10 win-loss slate, while the Final Four-bound Bulldogs improved to a 9-3 record. 

Nic Cabañero led UST with 20 points. 

NU’s Clemente tallied 19 points, while Omar John poured in 12 points. 

The Growling Tigers, who have three games left in the season, will next face the top-seeded UP Fighting Maroons at the same venue on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 11 a.m.