By Camille Cutler
UST Growling Tigers def. UP Fighting Maroons 68-65
Soulemane Chabi Yo, UST (22 points, 16 rebounds)
Chabi Yo helped in keeping UST’s heads above water the entire game. Grabbing all of those rebounds and his sheer effort were big already for the Growling Tigers. Once again: he is a silent worker. Not flashy, but damn effective.
Renzo Subido, UST (14 points, four rebounds, the biggest shot of the season)
Renzo has been UST’s stabilizer this entire season. He kept at it even in the do or die, a testament to his maturity. But when all else failed, Renzo did what he did best: score. Isolation, pull-up, cash.
Mark Nonoy, UST (12 points, six assists)
Coach Aldin Ayo has gushed about Mark for so long now and we’re being witness to why now. His potential is sky-high and he still has so much room to grow. Despite missing 11 shots, Nonoy still did an admirable job at quarterbacking when necessary.
Bright Akhuetie, UP (16 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, seven turnovers)
If Bright hadn’t done what he did last night, UP would not have been able to catch up during the second quarter. His passion for the game was clear as day and his desire to win was evident. He truly is UP’s most valuable player.
- The first quarter started out the way Game 1 went; UST was firing while UP was sloppy. It looked like we were going to be treated to another blowout but UP woke up and locked in on defense. That’s always been the key for them, their defense. When UP got to do that, the turned immediately turned into a grind.
- Turning the game into a grind favored UP. It stopped UST’s offensive flow and forced the Growling Tigers to settle for difficult shots. Mark Nonoy was only 3/14 from the field while Rhenz Abando was limited to just 3/12. UP did enough to keep the game close and it set us up for the legendary finish that we got.
- Kobe’s dunk which put the Fighting Maroons up by 4 should have been the dagger. But the Growling Tigers fought on, a testament to their grit and determination all season long.
- Of course, Renzo Subido’s shot. It was a moment kids dream of having and Renzo turned that into reality but grabbing it by the neck and turning it into his own.