UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas continued to own University of the Philippines, pulling off an 89-69 victory on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum to extend the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball stepladder semis to a sudden death.
Sherwin Concepcion and Mark Nonoy buried crucial treys in the final three minutes to break the game wide open before Soulemane Chabi Yo delivered the coup de grace - a putback to make it 80-63 with 1:59 left to play.
Nonoy, this season's Rookie of the Year, put the game under wraps with a trey from way deep to extend the lead to 20, 85-65, in the final 50.6 seconds and highlight the Tigers' third win in as many meetings with UP this season.
He finished with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals as the third-seeded UST followed up a win over Far Eastern University in a knockout duel last week with a masterful performance against the Maroons.
The two squads clash again on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena for the right to meet unbeaten Ateneo in a best-of-three finals.
MVP-in-waiting Chabi Yo crowned another dominant performance with 17 points, 15 boards, four steals, and two assists while battling the hulking Bright Akhuetie in front of 17,722 in attendance at the Big Dome.
The underrated Concepcion went 4-of-8 from threes to finish with 12 points while Rhenz Abando also had his share with his 3-of-6 sniping from beyond the arc in a 17-point, seven-rebound, three-block performance.
CJ Cansino added 11 points and three rebounds, while Renzo Subido scored eight points on a spotty 2-of-8 clip from deep but made up for it by issuing 12 assists.
In all, the Tigers made 30 percent of their shots (11-of-36) from three-point land compared to the cold 17-percent shooting for the Maroons.
Juan Gomez de Liano powered second-seeded UP with 15 of his season-high 20 points in the second half. Bright Akhuetie added 19 points and 18 boards but Kobe Paras was limited to nine points on 4-of-13 shooting.
UST 89 - Abando 17, Chabi Yo 17, Nonoy 16, Concepcion 12, Cansino 11, Subido 8, Ando 4, Huang 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0.
UP 69 - Ju. Gomez de Liano 20, Akhuetie 19, Rivero 12, Paras 9, Webb 4, Ja. Gomez de Liano 3, Tungcab 2, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Manzo 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
Quarters: 19-13, 41-24, 60-47, 89-69.