UST pounces on FEU, plays spoiler in hunt for UAAP 81 Jrs. F4 incentive
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 03, 2019 03:45 PM
Jomar Amador and UST have just complicated matters for FEU
NU 12-1 (twice-to-beat)
Ateneo 9-3 (Final Four)
FEU-Diliman 9-4 (Final Four)
Adamson 9-4 (Final Four)
University of Sto. Tomas is not going gently into the night in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament.
Mark Nonoy and Bismarck Lina were brilliant all game long, but Liam Manabat and Jomar Amador were the unlikely heroes as the Tiger Cubs stopped Far Eastern University-Diliman dead in its tracks, 86-83, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Nonoy did it all, as always, with 24 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks while Lina turned in his most powerful performance of the season with a 22-marker, 18-board double-double.
With those two showing the way, UST did not look like a team that was already out of contention and had nothing but bragging rights to play for. “Gusto naming manalo e. Gusto ng mga batang manalo,” a beaming head coach Bonnie Garcia said right after their rise to 6-7 in the standings.
He then continued, “Siguro, in-underestimate nila kami, but for us, we always play hard.”
Still, they found themselves on even ground with the Baby Tamaraws at 83-all with 19 ticks to go on the clock.
It was at that point that Nonoy drove into the lane and passed the ball to Manabat who then found Amador for an open baseline jumper and an 85-83 lead in favor of the Tiger Cubs.
FEU called a timeout to set up a play and then proceeded to inbound the ball to a red-hot Royce Alforque.
Manabat was yet again at the right place, at the right time, however, and stripped the ball away.
He was sent to the line where he made good on the first and muffed on the second – ultimately putting the icing on the cake that was an upset win for UST.
In the end, Manabat had four points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal while Amador had 13 markers and six boards to his name.
Those two proved to be the biggest thorns on the side of the Baby Tamaraws who now find themselves with a similar 9-4 record with Adamson High School.
That’s because, for their part, the Baby Falcons took care of business with an 85-66 triumph over University of the East.
Didat Hanapi broke out with 24 points while main man Joem Sabandal continued to stuff the stat sheet with 10 markers, nine rebounds, and six assists. Adamson ascended to 9-4 even with rotation forwards Adam Doria and AP Manlapaz sitting out.
Adamson’s win, coupled with FEU-Diliman’s loss, makes the chase for the remaining twice-to-beat advantage even more interesting. The two teams, alongside Ateneo de Manila High School, remain in the running for the playoff incentive.
For both of them to still have a shot, however, the Baby Tamaraws must topple league-leading Nazareth School of National University while the Baby Falcons must fly higher than the Blue Eaglets a week from now.
Alforque starred for FEU in this one with 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists, but saw his best game thus far go to waste. RJ Abarrientos chipped in 16 markers, two boards, and two dimes.
For 1-12 UE, Shane Dichoso topped the scoring column with 16 points.
ADAMSON 85 – Hanapi 24, Engbino 12, Sabandal 10, Prodigo 9, Capulong 8, Nitura 7, An. Doria 4, Padilla 3, Santos 2, Barcelona 2, Dominguez 2, Tulabut 2, Guarino 0.
UE 64 – Dichoso 16, Sullano 15, Tan 10, Gatdula 10, Flores 6, Agbas 3, Manaug 2, Villarta 2, Alinsoring 0, Tajonera 0, Lima 0, Almacen 0, Santos 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 22-18, 51-29, 67-50, 85-64.
UST 86 – Nonoy 24, Lina 22, Amador 13, Casingcasing 9, Marzan 5, Benzonan 5, Manabat 4, Oliva 3, Dumlao 1, Dolendo 0, Estrella 0.
FEU-DILIMAN 83 – Alforque 26, Abarrientos 16, Torres 15, Tolentino 9, Sajonia 5, Ona 4, J. Bautista 3, Bagunu 3, Anonuevo 2, Barasi 0, Sleat 0, S. Bautista 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 24-16, 49-43, 68-67, 86-83.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.