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Subido shatters UP’s hearts to book UST at Finals round against Ateneo

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Twice-to-beat, twice beaten!

The UST Growling Tigers eliminated the Season 81 bridesmaid UP Fighting Maroons out of the playoff contention, 68-65, in the stepladder tournament of UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall Of Asia on Wednesday, November 13.

It didn’t matter if UP had the twice-to-beat advantage when the España-based overcame all of the odds stacked against them.

With that win, UST arranged a Finals meeting with the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday, November 16.

UST waxed hot to an 18-6 start in the opening frame capped by Rhenz Abando’s three-pointer with 1:39 on the clock.

Things went into a dogfight when UP came close to UST in the next two quarters.

Graduating Jun Manzo tied the game at 57-all and Juan Gomez De Liaño’s stepback jumper gave UP the first lead of the game, 59-57, with over five minutes remaining in the payoff period.

Kobe Paras’ two-handed jam gave the Maroons a much-needed momentum with a 65-61 advantage with 1:39 left.

Rhenz Abando came through with a quick transition lay-up for the Tigers, 65-63, followed up with a crucial defensive stop to force a Ricci Rivero turnover.

This is where Renzo Subido broke UP’s heart once again with his long-range bomb with 23.6 remaining to steal the lead, 66-65.

UP lost its chance to retaliate when Javi Gomez De Liaño fumbled a lob shot from Kobe Paras in the next possession, and Soulemane Chabi Yo would proceed to convert both of his free shots, 68-65.

The Tigers head back to the Finals for the first time since 2015.

“It was really tough for us because of their adjustments,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

“We tried to counter and we were able to get our shots but they were not falling. I kept on telling the boys to keep on taking those shots because those are our shots. Towards the end, it was anybody’s ball game.”

MVP Chabi Yo powered UST with a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Subido chalked in 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from downtown.

Meanwhile, UP failed to book a return trip to the Finals.

Bright Akhuetie topped UP’s scoring column with 16 points and 17 rebounds.

Outgoing Manzo added 12 points while Rivero had 12 markers and eight rebounds.

The Scores

UST 68 – Chabi Yo 22, Subido 14, Nonoy 12, Abando 11, Ando 3, Cansino 2, Concepcion 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0, Huang 0.

UP 65 – Akhuetie 16, Manzo 12, Rivero 12, Ju. Gomez de Liano 8, Paras 8, Spencer 3, Ja. Gomez de Liano 2, Prado 2, Webb 2, Murrell 0, Tungcab 0.

Quarter Scores: 18-6, 29-28, 49-44, 68-65.