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    Sherwin Concepcion and the Tigers make it three straight wins.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    BUILDERS Warehouse-UST caught the last playoff ticket in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup, booting out fancied Wangs Basketball @26-Letran, 89-81, on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    The Growling Tigers squandered an early lead but regained control in the last six minutes to eliminate back-to-back NCAA champion Letran.

    See John Rojas stars as St. Clare stuns San Sebastian to clinch No. 3 spot

    UST, which lost its first four games of the tournament, finished the eliminations at 3-4 to advance to the next phase of the tournament.

    The top two after the eliminations of the eight-team tournament earn outright spots to the semifinals, while the bottom two are eliminated. The middle four play in the next phase for the two remaining semifinal spots.

    No. 6 UST set up a clash against twice-to-beat seed No. 3 Adalem Construction-St. Clare.

    “Hindi pa kami masyadong nakapag-prepare sa mga unang laro pero nag-trabaho lang kami. We believed in ourselves at ang mindset namin is bagong Tigers talaga,” said interim coach Albert Alocillo.

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    “Malaking motivation sa amin ito going into the playoffs.”

    Five players scored in twin digits for the Growling Tigers led by captain Sherwin Concepcion with 17 points on four triples. He also added 14 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.

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    Nic Cabanero and Kean Baclaan chipped in 16 points each while Paul Manalang and Bryan Santos had 10 apiece.

    Nic CabananeroNic Cabanero and the Tigers recover from a slow start to the tournament.

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    Riding a 71-point win over AMA Online and an upset of Marinerong Pilipino, the Growling Tigers raced to 31-17 start against Letran to set the tone.

    The Knights refused to go down without a fight by snatching the driver seat at 75-73 at 6:51 mark, before UST unleashed a blistering 18-6 closeout for the win.

    Louie Sangalang scored 18 and Fran Yu added 17 for the Knights, who stumbled out of the playoffs at 3-4 after losing their last four games.

    The scores:

    Builders Warehouse-UST 89 – Concepcion 17, Cabanero 16, Baclaan 16, Manalang 10, Santos 10, Mantua 8, Pangilinan 6, Stevens 4, Manaytay 2, Herrera 0, Escobido 0, Wilson 0.

    Wangs-Letran 81 – Sangalang 18, Yu 17, Reyson 14, Guarino 11, Javillonar 8, Olivario 5, Ariar 4, Aviso 0, Go 0.

    Quarterscores: 25-17; 45-41; 64-68; 89-81.

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    Sherwin Concepcion and the Tigers make it three straight wins.
    PHOTO: PBA Images
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