Hot-shooting UST torches UP, forces do-or-die for last finals slot
MANILA, Philippines—A hot-shooting University of Santo Tomas rolled past second seed University of Philippines, 89-69, Sunday night to forge a do-or-die duel for the last finals berth in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament before a crowd of 17,772 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Growling Tigers lived to fight another day in the stepladder semifinals as they used their stellar outside shooting and stifling defense to overcome the Fighting Maroons for the third time this
Carrying the momentum of their 81-71 win over Far Eastern University in the first phase of the semifinals, the Tigers came out sharp and ferocious as they built an early double-digit advantage and stayed in control all throughout.
“It’s all about execution both on defense and offense,” said UST coach Aldin Ayo. “We executed our game plan and the players followed all the instructions. We were just connected out there.”
Rhenz Abando and Soulemane Chabi Yo hit 17 points each, while rookies Mark Nonoy and Sherwin Concepcion added 16 and 12 respectively for the Tigers, who had five players finishing in twin digits.
Gomez de Liano found his groove in the last two periods, scoring all of his game-high 20 points in the second half, but the Tigers countered the Maroons’ uprising with three-pointers the biggest of
them coming inside the last three minutes courtesy of Concepcion and Nonoy. All told, the Tigers hit 11 treys, eight more than the Maroons’ total.
The Maroons again struggled to find their groove in the face of the Tigers’ ferocious defense. They were held to 39 percent shooting and only had 12 assists, while being forced to 22 turnovers.
UST 89 – Abando 17, Chabi Yo 17, Nonoy 16, Concepcion 12, Cansino 11, Subido 8, Ando 4, Huang 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0.
UP 69 – Ju. Gomez de Llano 20, Akhuetie 19, Rivero 12, Paras 9, Webb 4, Ja. Gomez de Llano 3, Tungcab 2, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Manzo 0, Murrel 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
Quarters: 19-13, 41-24, 60-47, 89-69