Nic Cabañero shows he's still UST's go-to guy with buzzer beater

Filoil Preseason: Nic Cabañero shows he’s still UST’s go-to guy

/ 06:03 PM May 22, 2024

UST Growling Tigers' Nic Cabañero filoil preseason UAAP

FILE–UST Growling Tigers star Nic Cabañero. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Nic Cabañero showed his worth anew in University of Santo Tomas’ escape of National University in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup at San Juan Arena on Wednesday.

With the game on the line, Cabañero showed his nerves of steel and took matters on his own to bail out the Growling Tigers over the Bulldogs at the buzzer, 76-75, in overtime of the preseason tilt head of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

For coach Pido Jarencio, seeing Cabañero come alive at the most timely moment just Nic proving his identity as UST’s go-to guy for the past few seasons.


READ: UAAP: Nic Cabañero happy to be part of UST’s revival bid under Pido Jarencio

“I just told him, ‘You’re Nic,’” said Jarencio. “For the last 2-3 years, you’re the top scorer of the team, all you need is to be consistent. [With the] game on the line, you should be the one to finish and he got that now, he made the team win. At the same time, he’s learning and developing as a leader.”

NU led by three with 17 to go in the extra period, 75-72, with the game already looking like a done deal for coach Jeff Napa.


However, the fourth-year guard refused to show surrender, sinking a go-ahead layup to cut the deficit to one.

Tebol Garcia was fouled on the next play but instead of putting the Tigers at bay, the former Adamson Baby Falcon missed his freebies and gave UST a chance to run away with the dub.


READ: UAAP: Big things ahead for UST’s Nic Cabanero, believes Evan Nelle

With seven seconds to go in the game, Cabañero ran the length of the court and sank a floater at the buzzer to stun the Season 86 Final Four cast, finishing with 19 points.

“It was really me,” said a beaming Cabañero. “I just knew that I should grab the opportunity of having the trust that the coaches gave me. Even before overtime, when I sank a three, I thought, ‘I can do this, we can win this.’ I got that mentality and winning attitude from coach Pido and all the coaches.”

Before the extra period, NU also led by three in the dying seconds, 65-62, before Cabañero sank an equalizer to send the game to five more minutes.

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If the ending of the tightly-contested match has any indications, Jarencio hopes that it’s UST’s slow rise from a losing culture.

“I told them that they have to build that winning attitude because UST is so beaten with losses. It’s been years and maybe it’s about time,” said the top coach.

TAGS: Nic Cabañero, NU Bulldogs, UST Growling Tigers

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