Tiger Cubs falter late, fall to Nieto-led Blue Eagles
By Rob Andrew Dongiapon
The UST Tiger Cubs had the chance to win it all in the endgame, but failed to squeak past the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 66–71, in the UAAP Season 85 high school boys basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Center, Wednesday morning.
After tasting a three-point lead via a Mark Llemit corner three at the 4:12 mark of the fourth quarter, UST conceded five straight points as the Blue Eagles took control from thereon.
Llemit was instrumental in the Tiger Cubs’ final gasp, converting a tough basket in the final minute, albeit missed the bonus free throw that could have chopped the lead to two with 51 ticks left.
The Tiger Cubs, then, engineered open looks but bungled their opportunities, which allowed the Blue Eagles to ice the game at the free throw line.
Llemit poured 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and four steals to lead the charge for UST while James Jumao-as provided the spark off the bench with 15 markers and 11 boards.
The win leveled Ateneo with UST in the standings with both teams now at 2–2.
Despite a poor shooting day, Lebron Nieto still put up 18 points on 4-of-18 field goal clip, alongside three assists and three steals to anchor Ateneo. Kris Porter backed him up with nine points, and 10 rebounds.
UST will look to bounce back on Sunday against the Adamson Baby Falcons at the San Andres Sports Complex.
ADMU 71 — Nieto 18, Porter 9, Ebdane 8, Adevoso 8, Salandanan 7, Domangcas 6, Delos Santos 4, De Guzman 3, Arada 3, Santiago 2, Fidel 2, Urbina 2, Prado 0, Aguirre 0, Tupas 0
UST — Llemit 19, Jumao-as 15, Manding 12, Pangilinan 8, Bucsit 4, Tesocan 4, Esteban 2, Buenafllor 2, Ayon 0, Naron 0
Quarterscores: 21–18, 39–42, 54–53, 71–66