It’s official– the UP Fighting Maroons are now out of Final Four contention. Shocking, right? On the other hand, the UST Growling Tigers, last season’s losing finalists, keep their slim hopes of entering the postseason alive as they put on a scintillating display in the final period to emerge victors in this contest, 77-65.
The Fourth Quarter Crumble
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The story of this game is eerily similar to their first encounter this season. UP battled toe-to-toe with UST for the first three quarters, until the Growling Tigers mounted a charge in the fourth quarter to pull away. In the final ten minutes, it seemed like everything went right for them while the exact opposite could be said about UP. The Fighting Maroons committed one turnover after the other, totaling to eight in the final quarter. Add to their turnover miseries are their shooting woes as they converted only three of their 13 field goal attempts.
Meanwhile, UST”s offense ran smoothly in the final period, producing an astonishing 111.1 points per 100 possessions. Karim Abdul, who has been one of the few bright spots for UST this season, delivered once again and got the much-needed help from the likes of Louie Vigil, Aljon Mariano, and rookie Reggie Basibas who erupted out of nowhere as he poured on 16 points and 18 rebounds.
Reviewing the Keys to the Game
BE CAREFUL WITH THE BALL
While UP only had a 15.5% turnover rate throughout the game (just within their season average which is second best in the league), more than half of their turnovers were committed in that dreadful fourth quarter. Definitely, this is not the way you should finish a game, considering especially UP had a legitimate chance to steal this game.
The unwelcome struggle of reigning Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao continues as he only managed to score a meager three points, all of which came from the foul line. Another alarming stat from him — he only attempted two field goals in this game, which is a career-low.
THE TALE OF TRIPLES
The tale of three-pointers was pretty much non-essential in this match. UP made five threes out of 23 attempts (21.7%) while UST did not fare much better, 4-13 (30.8%).
The inability to play good basketball for forty minutes has been the theme of UP’s Season 77 campaign. As much as UP manages to keep a number of their games entertaining and interesting in the early going, they become frustrating and unbearable to watch in the closing stages. This kind of display from them has to stop sooner rather than later.
Featured image courtesy of Pinoy Exchange