MVP Cansino shows way as UST seizes last playoff berth from Adamson

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 14, 2018 12:29 PM
MVP Cansino shows way as UST seizes last playoff berth
CJ Cansino and UST had no love to give for Adamson in their do-or-die matchup

For the second time in four days, University of Sto. Tomas has come through with a much-needed win – after all of its struggles as of late in the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

The Tiger Cubs survived their second straight must-win game with CJ Cansino leading the way anew in their 73-72 thriller of a triumph over dangerous Adamson High School in overtime at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City, Wednesday.

The newly minted MVP collected 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block in the biggest game he has played in his young career.

He also delivered when his team needed it the most, scoring all but two of UST’s 10 points in the extra period.

It was Cansino’s midrange jumper that broke off the tie for the first time in overtime. He then followed that up with three straight strong short stabs in an 8-5 run that mounted a 73-68 advantage in favor of the Tiger Cubs with 1:13 to go.

They would go scoreless from that point, but their defense bent but did not break to preserve the win.

The Baby Falcons were still threatening at 72-73 with under 20 ticks to go and then sent RJ Baquial to the line to stop the clock.

Baquial missed both of his free throws and Adamson still had enough time to win the game, but nobody from Joem Sabandal to Adam Doria found a good look. When Patrick Santos finally had one and made a layup, the final buzzer had already sounded.

The MVP was backstopped by Kobe Palencia who had 15 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two assists as well as Bismarck Lina who pounded in a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Winning the playoff for the last playoff berth, they now advance into the stepladder playoffs wherein they face off with third-seeded and defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman – whom they also downed last Sunday.

The Tiger Cubs have struggled for much of the second round, only winning once in six games before coming through in back-to-back must-win games – first at the expense of FEU-Diliman to force a playoff and then at the expense of Adamson to win the playoff.

Four-seed UST and three-seed FEU-Diliman go at it for the right to move up the stepladder on Saturday morning still at the Blue Eagle Gym.

For the Baby Falcons, Sabandal gave his all and wound up with a near triple-double of 20 points, nine assists, nine rebounds, and three steals.

All of them were unable to take advantage of their big-time defensive stop in the endgame, however, to see their surprise contention come to an end.

Still, it was a good season for the San Marcelino-based squad which will come back next season intact and more experienced.

BOX SCORES

UST 73 – Cansino 24, Palencia 15, Lina 12, Baquial 7, Manabat 6, Villapando 3, Benzonan 2, Estrella 2, Narvasa 2, Relucio 0, DOlendo 0, Anunciacion 0, Dela Cruz 0

ADAMSON 72 – Sabandal 20, Doria An 16, Doria Ad 11, Hanapi 9, Santos 9, Manlapaz 7, Prodigo 0, Canoy 0, Baculio 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-14, 32-23, 47-44, 63-63, 73-72 (OT)

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