MANILA, Philippines -- Adalem Construction-St. Clare survived a late flurry from Builders Warehouse-UST to claim a 90-87 win, Wednesday morning at the Araneta Coliseum.
The close win gave St. Clare the last ticket to the semifinals of the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.
NAASCU MVP Johnsherick Estrada led the way for the Saints with his 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists, as St. Clare weathered a ferocious challenge from the Growling Tigers after squandering an 82-70 lead in the final four minutes to escape with the victory.
"Hats off to UST. I know they will play hard and they know how to win already," said coach Jinino Manansala. "Kami naman, we just told our players that we have to perform this time."
The third-seeded Saints set up a best-of-3 semifinals series against No. 2 EcoOil-La Salle, which starts on Sunday.
It was a hard-earned victory for St. Clare, as UST came within three points with still 15.6 seconds to go, thanks to Kean Baclaan. The Growling Tigers then forced the Saints to a five-second inbound violation that gave them a shot at forcing overtime.
Unfortunately for UST, Baclaan's desperation heave from half court did not find its mark.
Jolo Sumagaysay fired 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting from deep off the bench, while Joshua Fontanilla, John Rojas, and Gab Gamboa all had 12 in the quarterfinals
Nic Cabanero poured 19 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two assists to lead the Builders Warehouse-UST.
Adalem-St. Clare 90 -- Estrada 20, Sumagaysay 14, Fontanilla 12, Gamboa 12, Rojas 12, Ndong 10, Lopez 6, Sablan 4, Estacio 0.
Builders Warehouse-UST 87 -- Cabanero 19, Baclaan 17, Concepcion 15, M. Pangilinan 13, Santos 12, Mantua 5, Manalang 4, Manaytay 2, Crisostomo 0, Herrera 0.
Quarters: 24-14, 37-35, 59-57, 90-87.