Abando, Chabi Yo lift UST over NU in OT

Abando, Chabi Yo lift UST over NU in OT

MANILA, Philippines—Playing catch-up for the entire second half, University of Santo Tomas caught fire from beyond the arc in overtime to outlast National U, 87-74, Sunday in UAAP Season 82 basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena. 

Rookie Rhenz Abando knocked down a couple of three-pointers after Sherwin Concepcion opened the extra period with a trey as the Growling Tigers pulled away late for their third win in four games. 

Abando finished with 21 points, while Concepcion added 13 points for the Tigers, who were held to just nine points in the second period as NU took a one-point lead at the break. Soulemane Chabi Yo tallied 23 points, including the basket that sent the game to overtime, aside from pulling down 20 rebounds. 

It was another heartbreaking defeat for the Bulldogs following one-point losses to Adamson and De La Salle in their first two games of the season. NU remains the only winless team in the competition. 

This time, however, the Bulldogs were already in a solid position to pull off the victory after taking a 68-63 advantage on Shaun Ildefonso’s putback with 42.3 seconds remaining in regulation. 

A split from Abando at the line was followed by a five-second inbound violation by the Bulldogs on their next possession. Abando knocked down a triple to put UST within a point, 68-67, with 27 seconds remaining in regulation. 

The Bulldogs were forced to another turnover, this time an eight-second violation, allowing UST’s Zach Huang to draw a foul and convert 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game with 17.9 seconds left. 

Enzo Joson went the length of the court for a lay-up with 6.5 seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs celebrated too early as the Tigers immediately went on the attack on the other end with rookie Mark Nonoy finding Chabi Yo for the game-tying basket with 2.5 ticks remaining. 

Nonoy shot just 1-of-13 from the field but made one of the game’s biggest plays by assisting on Chabi Yo’s game-saving basket. 

Dave Ildefonso fouled out in overtime after leading the Bulldogs with 16 points. But the sophomore had five turnovers, including a crucial dribbling error with 3:35 left in overtime that led to a triple by Abando on the other end.