Santo Tomas University left Far Eastern University 81-71 to advance to UAAP Season 82 seedlings on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws came as close as five points, 70-65, after a run to begin the final period, but UST came alive, and Renzo Subido made the dagger to give the Tigers a comfortable lead, 78-65, with 1:29 remaining.
FEU’s Ken Tuffin replied with his own triple to keep the Tams in the game just five seconds away from the Subido shot. Another three from Xyrus Torres gave FEU a better chance of stealing the game with 39 ticks remaining, 78-71.
The game was physical, with both Alec Stockton and Brent Paraiso calling for an unsportsmanlike foul with less than 30 seconds left, but the freebies from Zach Huang and Paraiso.
It was all UST in the first quarter, starting the game with a 10-2 start, ending the first 20 minutes of action with a 26-point lead, 54-28. The Tamaraws dominated the third period, 28-16, to slash their deficit going to the fourth quarter, 70-56.
Things turned salty minutes before the end of the first half with the ejection of Barkley Eboña after a disqualifying foul against League MVP Soulemane Chabiyo.
Chabiyo led UST with 25 points, 19 points in the first half.
Both FEU and UST finished their elimination round with eight wins and six defeats, enough to make it to the Final Four.
With the victory, the team based in Spain will face the University of the Philippines in the semis, which holds the double-to-beat advantage.
The winner of the series vs. UP will face Ateneo at the finals.
The semis game is scheduled for Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
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