By Val Macanas
MANILA - UST marches on to the UAAP Season 76 Final 4 after defeating the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, 82-74 in the Knock-Out match for the 4th and final spot of the Final 4 held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Thereby ending the Blue Eagle's 14 yr. Final-4 streak.
UST, anchored on Karim Abdul's explosive performance took the driver seat early in the first half leading by as much as 13 points, 39-26, at the end of the 2nd Quarter.
Karim stacked up 19 of his 25 points in the First Half.
Ateneo came back strong in the 3rd quarter behind Kiefer Ravena's 16 points to cut UST's lead down to 1, 52-51 at the end of the 3rd period.
Kiefer's proficient scoring performance in the 3rd quarter all went for naught as UST came out roaring in the final quarter with Jeric Teng and Tata Bautista shooting key baskets to finally seal the victory for UST.
Karim Abdul, the Best Player of The Game, led the Tigers with 25 pts., 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks. UST skipper Jeric Teng provided the much needed support by notching 17 points for the Tigers.
Meanwhile, for Ateneo, it was Kiefer who led all the scorers with 20 points. 16 of which came in the 3rd quarter alone.
UST will be facing the top seeded NU Bulldogs in the semi-finals on Sunday, September 22.