August 05, 2022

UST stuns No.3 St. Clare, keeps semis hopes alive

KEAN Baclaan caught fire in the second half on the way to 35 points to push Builders Warehouse-UST to a huge 98-93 stunner over no. 3-seed Adalem Construction-St. Clare and kept their semifinals bid going in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The incoming rookie out of La Salle-Zobel uncorked 24 points in the Growling Tigers' fiery second half, shooting three treys on top of five assists and three rebounds as the No. 6 seed stayed alive in its quarterfinal duel with St. Clare.

It was Baclaan who also kept Builders Warehouse-UST on the driver's seat, turning a close 81-80 game midway through the fourth quarter to a seven-point lead, 92-85, with 3:34 left before turning to its defense to get the job done.

"Nagkakaunawaan na ang mga bata. Maganda na ang samahan namin and we embraced yung system namin," said interim coach Albert Alocillo as the Growling Tigers stretched their win streak to four straight games now.

Nic Cabanero added 25 points and four boards, Sherwin Concepcion chimed in a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Paul Manalang contributed 12 points, three boards, and three dimes in the triumph.

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Builders Warehouse-UST will try to finish the job off on Wednesday against Adalem-St. Clare in a do-or-die duel. The winner plays early semifinalist and No.2 seed EcoOil-La Salle.

Joshua Fontanilla led the Saints with 23 points and five assists, but his presence was sorely missed after fouling out with 4:36 left in the game.

Johnsherick Estrada also had 15 points and seven boards as Adalem-St. Clare failed to replicate its close 87-86 win last July 21. (RL)

The Scores:

Builders Warehouse-UST 98 -- Baclaan 35, Cabanero 25, Concepcion 18, Manalang 12, Mantua 4, Stevens 2, Santos 1, M. Pangilinan 1, Wilson 0.

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Adalem-St. Clare 93 -- Fontanilla 23, Estrada 15, Sumagaysay 14, Rojas 13, Lopez 10, Estacio 8, Gamboa 5, Ndong 4, Manacho 1, Sablan 0.

Quarters: 12-25, 39-43, 72-70, 98-93.