UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas clinched the first finals seat in the 2017 Republica Cup collegiate division basketball tournament with a 68-60 victory over Diliman College on Monday night at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Marvin Lee finished with 21 points and spearheaded a 17-0 finish to steal the victory in their semifinal match-up.
With the victory, the Tigers, who are using the tournament as part of their offseason preparation for the UAAP, will face either University of the Philippines or Arellano in the championship game set next month.
Lee’s heroics came after the Tigers were down by nine points, 60-51, in the fourth period.
Lee began the run with a triple and added another three to finally put the Growling Tigers ahead, 61-60. He once again connected on a triple for a four-point lead with 1:34 left in the fourth to rattle the Blue Dragons.
Steve Akomo added 11 points, while Jeepy Faundo tallied 10 points for the Growling Tigers, who limited Diliman College to only six points in the fourth quarter after taking a 54-46 advantage entering the final canto.
Rickson Guerrero finished with 19 points, while Adama Diakhite added 17 points for the Blue Dragons, who recently entered the finals of the Fr. Martin Cup.