MVP Cansino struggles, Tiger Cubs still dethrone Baby Tamaraws
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 17, 2018 12:13 PM
UST looks like it is getting back to the form that made it one of the scarier teams in the first round
CJ Cansino didn't have the best of games on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
It didn't matter as University of Sto. Tomas got the best of games from its other guys.
RJ Baquial, Liam Manabat, and Kobe Palencia all got together for an unbelievable 14-2 tear in the last five minutes as the Tiger Cubs came from behind to stun Far Eastern University-Diliman, 81-80.
Not only does the comeback win send fourth-seed UST up the stepladder and onto a matchup with second-seed Nazareth School of National University, it also puts an unceremonious end to the title reign of the Baby Tamaraws.
It almost wasn't to be as RJ Abarrientos' third three in the final frame put FEU-Diliman on top by 13, 79-66, inside the last six minutes.
Manabat, Palencia, and Baquial weren't going to let that be the end for the Espana-based squad, though, and each dropped long-range missile to pull within 78-79.
Following another defensive stop, Baquial then ventured a bit inside and hit a midrange jumper that put his team on top by one.
A split from the stripe from L-Jay Gonzales tied the tally at 80-all with under a minute remaining.
Off a timeout, Palencia took it right to the rim and fished a foul. Sent to the line, he made good on the first before muffing on the second.
Gonzales collared the rebound, but took too long to cross it over to their side of the court or to call a timeout. When he finally did, only 1.2 ticks were left on the clock and all the Baby Tamaraws could muster for their last try was a well-defended triple by Royce Alforque which only hit the side of the ring.
Not long after, UST completed the 13-point comeback that keeps them in contention.
They did this even though Cansino wasn't up to his usual standards and only had 18 points in 39 percent shooting to go along wtih 16 rebounds and seven turnovers.
Good thing then that Baquial pumped in 13, Manabat scored 12, and Palencia poured in 11 to help the Tiger Cubs go 3-0 in the season up against FEU-Diliman.
They now turn their attention to the twice-to-beat Bullpups who await in the next rung of the stepladder on Tuesday.
That showdown will be at the Filoil Flying V Centre and LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.
Abarrientos topped the scoring column for the Baby Tamaraws with 24 points. They needed much more from Gonzales, however, who only had 10 points in 3-of-15 shooting on top of eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and six turnovers.
UST 81 - Cansino 18, Baquial 13, Narvasa 12, Manabat 12, Palencia 11, Villapando 6, Lina 4, Anunciacion 3, Relucio 2, Estrella 0, Dolendo 0, Benzonan 0
FEU-DILIMAN 80 - Abarrientos 24, Torres 11, Gonzales 10, Alforque 9, Sajonia 8, Tolentino 6, Celzo 4, Ona 3, Bautista 3, Armendez 2
QUARTER SCORES: 20-15, 36-41, 53-62, 81-80
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