SAN JUAN— De La Salle-Zobel held on a stubborn UST rally at crunchtime as the Junior Archers squeaked past the Tiger Cubs, 72-65, in a play-off for the last Final Four berth of the UAAP LXXIX junior’s basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Centre Thursday, Feb. 9.
After nearly blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter advantage, the boys from Alabang regrouped in time to keep its hopes for a back-to-back trip to the finals.
The victory also secured a showdown with top-seed and defending champions Nazareth School of National University in the semis. The Bullpups hold a twice-to-beat advantage.
Graduating star Joaqui Mariano poured in 11 of his 17 points in the second half on 7-of-13 shooting while collaring six rebounds. Jan Gabriel Sobrevega then added 14 markers along with four caroms.
It was a sorry and painful exit for the Tiger Cubs, which battled back from several double-digit spreads throughout the match, even going to as close as 49-54 with 8:30 left in the game.
Crispin Cansino led three other Cubs in double digits with an all-around effort of 17 pointrs, 12 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Miguel Ratuiste and and Joaquin Balingit came away with 11 apiece, while Inand Fornillos cashed in with a double-double of 10 and 12 boards to go with three blocks for UST.
DLSZ 72 – Mariano 17, Sobrevega 14, Diaz 9, Carlos 8, Romero 6, Vista 6, Terrado 5, Santos 4, Natividad 3, Cosejo 0
UST 65 – Cansino 17, Ratuiste 11, Balingit 11, Fornillos 10, Vince 8, Ian 5, Navarro 2, Ballada 1, Villapando 0, Dela Cruz 0, Narvasa 0, Morales 0
Quarterscores: 20-11. 40-30, 54-44, 72-65