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SLIDESHOW: Growling Tigers punch golden ticket to UAAP 82 finals

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2019 12:49 AM

The UST Growling Tigers, only a season removed from missing the final four, once again proved their mettle as they beat the talent-laden UP Fighting Maroons to punch a ticket to the finals and face the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Head coach Aldin Ayo and his squad asserted their dominance over counterpart Bo Perasol and the Maroons all season long, winning both of their games in the elimination round and erasing the Diliman-based squad’s twice-to-beat advantage earned as the second-seed. 

While the previous game proved to be a shellacking in favor of the fourth-seeded Tigers, this game was a toss-up. 

With 23.8 seconds left, graduating guard Renzo Subido hit a cold-blooded 3 over UP big man Bright Akhuetie to give the Tigers a one-point lead, 66-65. 

It was all downhill for the Maroons from there as Kobe Paras tried to answer back with a trey of his own but lost control of the ball and teammate Javi Gomez de Llaño, while he was able to get the loose ball, couldn’t put it through the basket at point blank range that would have given them the lead with just 5.6 second left.

Soulemane Chabi Yo, the season MVP, made sure to give his team a cushion as he sank both free throws with 4.4 left on the clock.

UP’s last shot attempt of the game, taken by James Spencer, rimmed out punctuating an early exit for the Fighting Maroons this season, one that began with high expectations after acquiring high-profile players Paras and Ricci Rivero. 

UST, who has momentum on its side, will try to continue its Cinderella run against unbeaten and well-rested Ateneo Blue Eagles for the championship in a best-of-3 series.

Game 1 is at Araneta Coliseum. on Nov. 16, Saturday.

Here are some of the photos from the UST-UP game.

The UP faithful cheers on the Maroons during their do-or-die match against the UST Growling Tigers. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Jun Manzo of the UP Fighting Maroons tries to get past UST Growling Tiger Renzo Subido. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Brent Paraiso of the UST Growling Tigers dribbles the ball, as teammate CJ Cansino stumbles on top of Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras during their do-or-die match at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Rhenz Abado of the UST Growling Tigers makes an acrobatic play, as he is guarded by UP Fighting Maroons Kobe Paras and Bright Akhuetie. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Juan Gomez de Liaño of the UP Fighting Maroons brings the ball up, as he is guarded by UST Growling Tiger Mark Nonoy. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Mark Nonoy of the UST Growling Tigers is guarded by UP Fighting Maroon James Spencer during their their do-or-die match at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Soulemane Chabi Yo of the UST Growling Tigers is guarded by UP Fighting Maroon Bright Akhuetie. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Renzo Subido of the UST Growling Tigers handles the ball as he is guarded by UP Fighting Maroon James Spencer. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Kobe Paras of the UP Fighting Maroons shadows UST Growling Tiger Renzo Subido during their match at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

UP Fighting Maroon Ricci Rivero drives against UST Growling Tiger CJ Cansino during their do-or-die match at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Renzo Subido of the UST Growling Tigers goes for the rebound during their do-or-die match against the UP Fighting Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Soulemane Chabi Yo of the UST Growling Tigers blocks UP Fighting Maroon Bright Akhuetie during their their do-or-die match at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Graduating player Jun Manzo of the UP Fighting Maroons is consoled after losing their match against the UST Growling Tigers Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

UST Growling Tiger Rhenz Abando drives unguarded to the hoop, as UP Fighting Maroons Bright Akhuetie and the Gomez de Liaño brothers can only look on. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Scenes from the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball stepladder semis match between the UP Fighting Maroons and the UST Growling Tigers in Pasay City Wednesday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The UST Growling Tigers celebrate their win against the UP Fighting Maroons to book a ticket to the finals. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The UST Growling Tigers celebrate their win against the UP Fighting Maroons to book a ticket to the finals. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

UST Growling Tiger Brent Paraiso shares a moment with UP Fighting Maroon Noah Webb. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

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