UST deals NU 3rd straight heartbreak in OT thriller

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers' 4th quarter surge crushed the National University (NU) Bulldogs' hopes once again with an 87-74 overtime win in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament on Sunday, September 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Rhenz Abando's presence in the 4th quarter paved the way for UST to send the game into overtime, which started with a shootout as UST got a 3-point lead, 76-73.

Things turned for the worse for NU as Soulmane Chabi Yo sank a floater for the 5-point gap, 78-73. With Dave Ildefonso fouled out at the 2:52 mark, Abando responded with another long bomb to push UST up by 8, 81-73.

With players fouling out left and right, Sherwin Concepcion and Zach Huang shut the door on the Bulldogs for good to seal the Tigers' comeback. 

UST's come-from-behind win improves its record to 3-1, while the NU Bulldogs remain winless at 0-3.

Chabi Yo led the Tigers with a double-double of 23 points and 20 rebounds, while Abando tallied 21 points off a 5-of-10 clip from beyond the arc, to go with 6 boards. 

Raring to end a painful two-game slide, the young Bulldogs bucked a slow start and traded blows with the Tigers deep into the 3rd quarter.

John Lloyd Clemente then helped his team break free with a last-second bucket to end the frame up 5, 52-47.

Unwavering in the endgame, UST got back with a small 10-4 run to inch within 1, 63-64, capped by an Abando triple at the 1:20 mark of the 4th quarter.

However, the Bulldogs were not ready to let a third straight game slip away from their grasp as Enzo Joson and Shaun Ildefonso conspired for two quick buckets to go back up 5, 68-63, with 42.3 ticks left.

Abando once again proved to be the spark for the Growling Tigers as he made Joson pay for a five-second violation with a pull-up three to get within a point anew, 67-68, at the 27-second mark.

With no timeouts remaining, Joson and Chabi Yo traded spin move layups as UST forced overtime, 70-all. 

Dave Ildefonso led NU's scoring with 16 points while Clemente chipped in 11 points in the Bulldogs' losing effort. 

The Scores:

UST 87 – Chabi Yo 23, Abando 21, Concepcion 13, Nonoy 9, Subido 7, Paraiso 6, Huang 5, Cansino 3, Ando 0, Bataller 0, Cuajao 0.

NU 74 – D. Ildefonso 16, Clemente 11, Joson 10, S. Ildefonso 9, Gaye 6, Oczon 5, Galinato 3, Mangayao 2, Gallego 0, Mosqueda 0, Rangel 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 30-31, 47-52, 70-70, 87-74.

– Rappler.com