ANTIPOLO -- University of Santo Tomas eliminated National University from Final Four contention with an 88-76 thumping in the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday at Ynares Center here.
CJ Cansino was the catalyst for the Growling Tigers with a season-high 15 points, along with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Soulemane Chabi Yo also uncorked a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds, as Renzo Subido shot 4-of-6 from downtown to corral 14 points, three boards, and two assists.
Mark Nonoy also scored 12 as UST closed in on the second spot at 7-5.
"Lots of players stepped up," said coach Aldin Ayo. "They just played basketball. They were having fun. They enjoyed the game, but we know that while they are doing that, may kasamang responsibility pa rin."
Their balanced attack also came at a time where Rhenz Abando marked his return to the team after an emotional week where he was rumored to be on his way out of Espana.
He got nine points and five rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
UST sustained its high-octane self, going 12-of-36 from threes as it also dished out 18 assists in the win.
That hot shooting allowed the Growling Tigers to break away in the third frame, using a 20-5 attack that gave it a 23-point lead, 58-35.
The Bulldogs rallied behind Dave Ildefonso as they went on a 21-7 spurt to get to within nine, 65-56, heading to the fourth, but Subido and Chabi Yo helped UST break away anew and enjoyed 20-point leads in the final canto.
Ildefonso fired 27 points, six rebounds, and four assists for NU, which fell to 2-9.
UST 88 -- Chabi Yo 16, Cansino 15, Subido 14, Nonoy 12, Abando 9, Ando 8, Bataller 3, Concepcion 3, Cuajao 3, Paraiso 3, Huang 2, Bordeos 0.
NU 76 -- D. Ildefonso 27, S. Ildefonso 15, Clemente 10, Gaye 6, Rangel 4, Joson 3, Minerva 3, Oczon 3, Malonzo 2, Mosqueda 2, Gallego 1, Diputado 0, Galinato 0, Mangayao 0, Tibayan 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18, 38-30, 65-56, 88-76.PR