University of the East scored its second straight win in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament, topping University of Santo Tomas, 78-68, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Red Warriors, who won against the Growling Tigers for the first time since October 7, 2017 -- a 96-91 victory, moved above .500 at 3-2, tied with De La Salle University at fourth.
This is also their first winning streak since Season 82.
"Hindi ako makapaniwala eh. It's really a team effort especially like guys like Harvey [Pagsanjan] and [Jojo] Antiporda na for the last four games, they were struggling no? I'm so happy nagising na sila," said UE coach Jack Santiago.
Ahead by just three, the Red Warriors went on a 14-4 blast to put the game away, capped by Luis Villegas' dagger triple with 1:28 left, 73-60.
Villegas finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals, while Nikko Paranada also had 17 points with six rebounds and four assists.
Antiporda had 13 points, all in the third quarter, while Gani Stevens tallied 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting in his first game against his former team.
Nic Cabañero led the Growling Tigers anew with 19 points and 14 rebounds but shot only 5-of-17 from the field, while Ivan Lazarte added 12 points in 10 minutes.
UST's Adama Faye was slapped with a disqualifying foul at the 2:01 mark of the third period after his elbow hit Harvey Pagsanjan's jaw during a loose ball battle.
The Growling Tigers fell to 1-4, dropping their fourth consecutive match after winning their opener against Adamson University.
UE puts its winning streak on the line on Wednesday against University of the Philippines while UST aims to break out of its slump against winless Far Eastern University.
UE 78 -- Villegas 17, N. Paranada 17, Antiporda 13, Stevens 11, Pagsanjan 5, Payawal 5, K. Paranada 4, Sawat 4, Abatayo 2, Beltran 0, Remogat 0, Guevarra 0, Alcantara 0, Langit 0, Lingo-lingo 0.
UST 68 -- Cabanero 19, Lazarte 12, Faye 11, Manalang 9, Pangilinan 8, Manaytay 5, Duremdes 2, Calimag 1, Mantua 1, Garing 0, Herrera 0.
Quarters: 10-13, 28-29, 55-49, 78-68.