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UST ousts FEU out of playoff contention; moves up to UAAP semis

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UST now advances to the next level.

The Growling Tigers came away with an 81-71 victory over the FEU Tamaraws to proceed to the next round in the stepladder tournament of UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, November 6.

UST came off with a hot start, burying nine triples to finish the first half with 54 points over FEU’s 28.

However, FEU showed signs of life in the second half when L-Jay Gonzales’ three-point play capped a 9-0 surge to cut the Tigers’ lead by just five, 65-70, in the payoff period.

UST then retaliated with eight unanswered points which was concluded by Renzo Subido’s trey with 1:28 left, 78-65.

Still, Ken Tuffin and Xyrus Torres buried back-to-back triples for the Tams with 38.8 ticks left, but UST finally finished it all off with three free shots from Zachy Huang and Brent Paraiso, 81-71.

Nothing comes easy. Itong laro na ‘to, akala namin madali na, pero FEU kalaban namin e at hindi nila basta-basta binigay,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

Newly-hailed MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo matched his season-high 25 points, to go with 11 rebounds and three assists.

Paraiso provided 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the three-point clip, while Subido chipped in 14 points and five rebounds.

With that win, UST eliminates FEU in the playoff contention to face the twice-to-beat UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday.

For FEU, Tuffin paced 20 points while Gonzales filled the stat sheets with 11 markers, nine assists, and three rebounds.

Outgoing guards Hubert Cani provided 10 points, while Wendell Comboy was good with eight markers and seven rebounds.

Barkley Eboña, who was ejected earlier in the second period due to a disqualifying foul, still made his last FEU game count with nine points and seven rebounds.

The Scores

UST 81 – Chabi Yo 25, Paraiso 18, Subido 14, Abando 9, Nonoy 6, Huang 4, Bataller 3, Cansino 2, Ando 0, Concepcion 0, Cuajao 0.

FEU 71 – Tuffin 20, Gonzales 11, Cani 10, Ebona 9, Comboy 8, Torres 8, Tchuente 5, Alforque 0, Bayquin 0, Bienes 0, Stockton 0.

Quarter Scores: 26-16, 54-28, 70-56, 81-71.