The UST Growling Tigers lived up to their status as contenders this season. They took down last year’s finalists, the UP Fighting Maroons in convincing fashion, 85-69. UST rises up to 2-0 in the standings while UP drops to 1-1.
Five players scored in double-digits for the Growling Tigers, led by Chabi Chabi Yo with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Rookies Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando also provided a spark. Nonoy shook off his rough performance in the first game by dropping 16 points in this game. Abando built on his impressive debut with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and three blocks. Bright Akhuetie had 19 points and 16 rebounds for UP.
The Growling Tigers were in control for most of the game. After UP took an early lead, Nonoy, Chabi Yo and Abando, led by Renzo Subido’s playmaking led the Growling Tigers to surge ahead. UST took a 14-point lead when they went on a 14-4 run to open the second period.
The Fighting Maroons came roaring back in the third period. The De Liaño brothers led the comeback, getting to within three points midway through the third period. Nonoy, Chabi Yo and Abando replied quickly with crucial baskets to keep UST ahead.
In the final period, UP once again tried to make a comeback, getting to within seven points in the final two minutes of the game. That’s when Nonoy and Subido put the game away for good. Nonoy drilled s triple from the left wing followed by back-to-back triples from Subido to seal the win for UST.
In the first game of the day, the Adamson Soaring Falcons walked away from a scoring duel with the NU Bulldogs with the win. The Falcons got the game-winner in OT to fend off the Bulldogs, 84-83. Adamson gets their first win, bouncing back from their opening day loss. NU opens the season with a loss.
Lenda Douanga led the Falcons with 26 points and 19 rebounds. He also drilled the game-winner in OT to secure the win for Adamson.
With 1.4 seconds left and the Bulldogs up by two, the Falcons tried to find a hero. Jerom Lastimosa tried to find Jerrick Ahanmsi or Simon Camacho for the win but NU shut those avenues down. Lastimosa lobbed a pass to a wide-open Douanga a few steps away from the top of the key. The Adamson big man didn’t hesitate, and launched a jumper over the recovering defense. The shot splashed in, giving Adamson the win at the buzzer.
That shot by Douanga capped off a wild finish to the game. Both teams traded runs early in the game, turning the contest into a tight, back-and-forth affair. In the fourth quarter, the two teams traded blows. Douanga saved the game at the end of regulation with a put back off a missed shot by Camacho to tie the game.
In OT, Dave Ildefonso caught fire. The young scorer finished with a game-high 29 points. He drilled a triple to tie the game in the final two minutes. He then scored on a smooth side-step reverse layup to put NU up by two. After Adamson tied the game, Idefonso put NU ahead once again with a tough floater over two defenders. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they left enough time for Douanga to get the game-winner.