IRONCON-UST held off a pesky challenge from St. Clare College Virtual Reality, scoring a 78-75 win on Thursday in the 2019 PBA D-League at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Dave Ando made the go-ahead putback with 20.4 seconds left before Brent Paraiso iced the game with a pair of freebies with 4.3 seconds left as the Growling Tigers improved their record to 6-2 in the Aspirants Group and boosted their playoff bid.
Paraiso topscored for Ironcon-UST with 14 points, while also making five rebounds and four assists, while Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando had 13 points each.
Ando and Renzo Subido contributed 10 points apiece for the Growling Tigers.
"We just executed the gameplan and the players did not deviate from the gameplan kasi yun yung tendency ng mga bata. They just executed," said coach Aldin Ayo.
Irven Palencia almost willed St. Clare back from a 73-67 deficit, scoring all of his eight points in the final four minutes.
But Ironcon-UST just did enough to avoid a meltdown from 12-points up in the first half, surviving the absence of Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo, who is down with a flu.
Joshua Fontanilla powered St. Clare with 19 points, as Rojay Santos got 16 points built on five triples.
The Saints dropped to a 5-3 card.
Ironcon-UST 78 - Paraiso 14, Nonoy 13, Abando 13, Ando 10, Subido 10, Concepcion 7, Bataller 4, Marcos 4, Huang 3, Herrera 0.
- CLARE 75 - Fontanilla 19, Santos 16, Lunor 11, Hallare 8, Palencia 8, Rubio 7, Pare 4, Ambuludto 2, Bolos 0.
Quarterscores: 18-11; 37-33; 60-57; 78-75.