University of Sto. Tomas, all of a sudden, couldn’t buy a basket in the second half of its matchup opposite the University of the Philippines, Wednesday at MOA Arena.
Still, the Growling Tigers kept coming and ultimately, Renzo Subido and Brent Paraiso brought the big-time baskets that took down the Fighting Maroons, 84-78, yet again in the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Down by four in the last two minutes, Subido and Paraiso conspired for five unanswered points that, all of a sudden, sent them ahead by one. "It was a good game and it was a good win because it came in a close game. Being a young team that makes the right decisions down the stretch, that was big for us," head coach Aldin Ayo said post-game.
After another defensive stop, Subido rose up for a booming triple over the outstretched arms of Juan Gomez de Liano for an 82-78 lead with 26.7 ticks to go on the clock.
A couple more defensive stops as well as a couple of splits from the stripe by Soulemane Chabi Yo and Paraiso later and UST was celebrating an elimination round sweep of State U. "I told them to make every possession count," coach Aldin said.
That almost wasn't meant to be as after a first half that saw them scorch the nets to shoot 12-of-20 from threes and seize a lead of as much as eight, the Growling Tigers cooled off and had UP fighting back into the game.
Juan GDL's floater and Paras' triple actually had the Fighting Maroons ahead, 78-74, with 1:40 remaining.
From there, however, the black and gold closed the door on defense just as Subido and Paraiso caught fire.
In the end, Subido had 13 points, five assists, and five rebounds to his name while Paraiso had six markers and four boards of his own to help their side improve to 6-5 - solo third once more in the standings.
Chabi Yo also posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double to complement the best games of the season from Sherwin Concepcion and CJ Cansino with the former finishing with 16 points and five rebounds and the latter ending with 12 markers, three assists, and two boards.
For the Fighting Maroons, Paras topped the scoring column with 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists while Jun Manzo had his own 12 markers, seven dimes, and four boards.
Ricci Rivero turned in his season-best showing as well with 12 points while Bright Akhuetie posted a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double.
Falling short of finishing the job, however, they fell for the second time in the last three games and fell to 6-4.
UST 84 - Concepcion 16, Chabi Yo 14, Subido 13, Cansino 12, Huang 9, Ando 7, Nonoy 7, Paraiso 6, Bataller 0, Bordeos 0, Cuajao 0
UP 78 - Paras 18, Manzo 12, Rivero 12, Gomez de Liano Ja 11, Akhuetie 10, Gomez de Liano Ju 5, Mantilla 3, Murrell 3, Prado 2, Webb 2, Jaboneta 0, Spencer 0, Tungcab 0
QUARTER SCORES: 23-22, 48-41, 60-57, 84-78
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