Tiger Cubs stay alive by stopping Baby Tamaraws’ charge
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 11, 2018 03:09 PM
CJ Cansino wasn't letting today be his last day as a UST Tiger Cub
Of course, CJ Cansino came through just when University of Sto. Tomas needed him the most.
Cansino was at the forefront of the Tiger Cubs’ tear in the final frame that eventually ended as a much-needed 64-62 victory versus defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman on Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
With their backs against the wall, the upstarts from Espana looked to their ace to lead the way.
That, he did and netted 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
It was also his improbable basket and bonus that broke off a 57-all tie and bagged a three-point lead for UST late in the game.
Seldom-used Baby Tamaraw Kyle Bautista dropped a corner three to once again knot the score only to see Liam Manabat bury a triple of his own to keep the Tiger Cubs ahead.
The two teams traded a couple of defensive stops until Daniel Celzo’s putback pulled FEU-Diliman to 62-63 with 4.2 ticks to go.
Sent to the line in the ensuing possession, Cansino made good on one of two to mount what would prove to be the final margin of victory.
The defending champions had a couple of chances to force overtime or even win the game, but Espana’s defense stood strong to seal the deal.
After so much frustration in the second round, UST finally put up a fight in this one with the other guys like Manabat and Rean Relucio contributing to the cause with 11 points apiece.
This is only their second win in the last seven games, but it is nonetheless much-welcome as it puts them on even ground in the standings with 7-7 Adamson High School who had won earlier.
Now, the Tiger Cubs and the Baby Falcons are set to go at it with the fourth and final playoff berth at stake.
Nothing changes for the Baby Tamaraws who remain at third even as they end the elimination round at 8-6.
L-Jay Gonzales topped the scoring column with 13 points, but was uncharacteristically a non-factor in the endgame.
UST 64 – Cansino 26, Manabat 11, Relucio 11, Lina 6, Baquial 6, Narvasa 2, Dela Cruz 2, Anunciacion 0, Villapando 0, Benzonan 0, Palencia 0, Biag 0
FEU-DILIMAN 62 – Gonzales 13, Celzo 11, Bautista 10, Torres 9, Abarrientos 7, Sajonia 6, Alforque 2, Armendez 2, Mariano 2, Tolentino 0, Ona 0, Boc 0, Barasi 0
QUARTER SCORES: 12-16, 21-30, 42-45, 64-62
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