News & Updates

Cabañero puts his cape on for UST

UST can count on Nic to save the day.

The sophomore sensation of the Growling Tigers drilled an impressive one-handed runner in the final seconds of overtime to secure his team’s first victory in the Filoil preseason tournament against National University, 76-75, in overtime on Wednesday, May 22.

Cabañero, who led all scorers with 19 points, took the basketball down the length of the court with 7 seconds left, maneuvered past two defenders who tried to block off the path of his strong hand, got open for a sliver of a moment, and perfectly diagrammed the journey of the ball to hit nothing but net.

His heroics started late in regulation, as his 3-pointer under a minute to go erased NU’s slim lead and it would also turn out to be the final basket of the fourth period.

The Bulldogs had a chance to extend their lead to three again right before Nic’s game-winner, but rookie Tebol Garcia missed two crucial free throws in what will be a learning experience.

“Dapat pasok ko talaga, dahil Nic Cabañero daw ako eh, so dapat ganon mentality ko – be confident lang,” Cabañero shared an insight to his mentality after the game.

He also shared that the coaches have asked him to save his scoring energy for the final quarter of the game, allowing teammates to thrive in the early goings and paving the way for close-out opportunities.

Coming off tough defeats against La Salle and UP, UST finally broke through the winning column against an NU team they’re expected to compete against for a Final Four spot in Season 87.

The Growling Tigers have now faced the podium finalists from the last UAAP men’s basketball season. If anything, they’ve displayed an ability to hang and compete against these elite teams, a good sign that they’re on their way to becoming one as well.

A significant reason why is because of Cabañero’s individual brilliance, which came in very handy when UST needed it most on Wednesday.

This recent win was made even more impressive by the absence of new recruit Forthsky Padrigao, who missed the game with a minor injury that shouldn’t keep him out for long.

In other action, DLSU won its second straight game of the tournament by dispatching Adamson, 80-72. The Archers were led by the 22 points and 6 rebounds of Jonnel Policarpio, who continues to provide early proof that he’s bound for a breakout campaign in Season 87.

Henry Agunanne had a versatile line of 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Josh David and Michael Phillips missed the game for La Salle, while Adamson’s Matthew Montebon was inactive due to an examination in school.

Letran scored a 91-86 victory over LPU thanks to a second-half comeback, providing new head coach Allen Ricardo his second triumph of the tourney. Jimboy Estrada paved the way with 19 markers.

St. Benilde also claimed victory with an 86-62 rout of San Sebastian, while EAC snapped UPHSD’s win streak at three with a 60-49 decision.

Photos courtesy of: Filoil-EcoOil

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