UAAP: Nic Cabanero drops career-best 33 to lift UST past Adamson in opener
MANILA, Philippines–University of Santo Tomas has found a new king tiger in its lair.
Nic Cabanero fired a career-high 33 points, including the insurance basket with 41.6 seconds left, to propel the Growling Tigers to a 69-60 win at the start of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday.
Unshaken even with the shot clock winding down, Cabanero confidently swished the step-back jumper that created a five-point separation the Tigers needed in the closing seconds to kick off a season teeming with a promising outlook.
The Falcons tried to resuscitate their dwindling chances but bungled three attempts from afar, allowing the Tigers to seal Adamson’s downfall on the charity stripe.
Christian Manaytay and Paul Manalang split their free throws as the Falcons went into fouling frenzy before Cabanero iced the win with his own two freebies.
The 6-foot-2 Cabanero, thrust into the leader’s role following the absence of UST’s key players, went 13 of 18 from the field after going into a scoring tear right in the first half with 17 points.
Lenda Douanga and Joshua Yerro had 13 points each for the Falcons, who chased Cabanero and the Tigers all game long before finally closing in on a Jerom Lastimosa three, 60-63, with a minute left.
UST 69 — Cabanero 33, Manaytay 7, Faye 6, Pangilinan 6, Mantes 5, Mantua 4, Calimag 3, Duremdes 2, Herrera 2, Manalang 1, Lazarte 0, Magdangal 0, Laure 0.
ADAMSON 60 — Douanga 13, Yerro 13, Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 10, Sabandal 9, V. Magbuhos 3, Barcelona 2, Colonia 0, Manzano 0, Flowers 0, Barasi 0, Torres 0, Manlapaz 0, Jaymalin 0.
Quarters: 23-18, 42-38, 48-42, 69-60.