THE UST Tiger Cubs kept their Final Four hopes alive after taking down defending champions Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws, 64-62, at the end of the UAAP Season 80 boys’ basketball tournament eliminations at the Ateneo Blue Eagle Gym Sunday.
With 1.3 seconds remaining, FEU’s RJ Abarrientos nailed a triple from the top of the key but was ruled out after drawing a foul before taking the shot.
Top Cub CJ Cansino split his freethrows after an LJ Gonzales foul to give UST a 64-62 cushion.
Baby Tamaraw Daniel Celzo then scored a putback later to bring the defending champions within one with 4.2 ticks left in the game.
Tied at 60-all with two minutes left in the payoff period, Tiger Cub Liam Manabat nailed a go-ahead three, 63-60.
“Walang nara-rattle, naglaro lang sila ng game nila and especially, maganda ang depensa,” UST head coach Chris Cantonjos said.
Cansino led all scorers with 26 points, nine rebounds while Manabat and Rean Relucio tallied 11 markers apiece.
Gonzales led the defending champions with 13 points.
The Tiger Cubs are tied with the Adamson University Baby Falcons at fourth place with identical 7-7 win-loss cards. A playoff game between the two will determine the last Final Four spot.
Last season, the Tiger Cubs missed on the last semifinal spot after falling to De La Salle-Zobel, 65-72.
The time and venue are yet to be announced.