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‘Probinsyano Duo’ sparks UST to force rubber match against UP

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Rhenz Abando and Mark Nonoy came through for UST.

The Growling Tigers fortified their Finals aspiration in an 89-69 blowout over twice-to-beat UP Fighting Maroons in the stepladder tournament of UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, November 10.

With that win, UST sets up a do-or-die affair against UP on Wednesday, November 13, at the Mall of Asia Arena to determine Ateneo Blue Eagles’ opponent in the UAAP Finals.

The Tigers started off hot in the first period with an 11-0 en route to a 18-7 lead, all the way to a 41-24 advantage to end the second half.

Every time the Maroons attempt a comeback in the second half, UST had an answer of their own.

UST was still threatened by UP’s clutch play when Kobe Paras’ floater pushed the deficit by nine, 63-72, with 3:13 remaining in the final frame.

Sherwin Concepcion and Nonoy buried back-to-back triple, followed by Soulemane Chabi Yo’s created an 8-0 separation in favor of the Tigers with 1:59 left on the clock.

From then on, UST finished the game with a 20-point lead, 89-69.

“It’s all about execution on both offense and defense,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

“We executed our game plan and all my instructions were followed by my players. We were connected out there.”

Five Tigers scored double-digits in the game.

Reigning MVP Chabi Yo powered UST with 17 points, 15 rebounds, and four steals while Abando had 17 markers and seven boards.

Reigning ROY Nonoy contributed 16 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals while Concepcion scored all 12 markers from the rainbow area.

Cansino also delivered 11 points and three rebounds while Renzo Subido facilitated eight markers and 12 assists.

For UP, Juan Gomez de Liaño came out with his best game with 20 points while Bright Akhuetie registered a double-double of 19 markers and 18 rebounds.

The Scores

UST 89 – Abando 17, Chabi Yo 17, Nonoy 16, Concepcion 12, Cansino 11, Subido 8, Ando 4, Huang 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0.

UP 69 – Ju. Gomez de Liano 20, Akhuetie 19, Rivero 12, Paras 9, Webb 4, Ja. Gomez de Liano 3, Tungcab 2, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Manzo 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

Quarter Scores: 19-13, 41-24, 60-47, 89-69.