ANTIPOLO — CJ Cansino showed the way as University of Santo Tomas booted out National University, 88-76, in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament on Saturday at Ynares Center.
The sophomore guard uncorked a season-high 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Growling Tigers improved their record to 7-5.
Renzo Subido shot 4-of-6 from deep and wound up with 14 points, three boards, and two assists.
Their performances were big for UST, which also welcomed back Rhenz Abando after a tumultuous week where he found himself embroiled in a poaching controversy.
The Sto. Tomas, La Union had nine points and five rebounds in just 16 minutes on the floor.
It was a superb second half for the Growling Tigers, pouring 50 in the final two frames to shake off the pesky Bulldogs.
The Tigers dished out 18 assists and went 12 for 36 from downtown.
"Lots of players stepped up," said coach Aldin Ayo. "They just played basketball. They were having fun. They enjoyed the game, but we know that while they are doing that, may kasamang responsibility pa rin."
The Growling Tigers looked poised to break the game wide open with a 20-5 assault in the third quarter, capped off by Soulemane Chabi Yo's three-point play to make it a 58-35 game with 4:32 left, but Dave Ildefonso rallied the Bulldogs back with a 21-7 response to cut the deficit to nine, 65-56, heading into the payoff period.
Subido, however, sustained that hot streak, helping UST reinstate its 20-point lead to finish off NU.
Chabi Yo also uncorked a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Mark Nonoy had 12 points.
Ildefonso led the also-ran Bulldogs with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists as they missed the Final Four for the fourth straight season.
Shaun Ildefonso also got 15 points and seven rebounds, while John Lloyd Clemente had 10 points and three assists as NU dropped to 2-9.
UST 88 - Chabi Yo 16, Cansino 15, Subido 14, Nonoy 12, Abando 9, Ando 8, Bataller 3, Concepcion 3, Cuajao 3, Paraiso 3, Huang 2, Bordeos 0.
NU 76 - D. Ildefonso 27, S. Ildefonso 15, Clemente 10, Gaye 6, Rangel 4, Joson 3, Minerva 3, Oczon 3, Malonzo 2, Mosqueda 2, Gallego 1, Diputado 0, Galinato 0, Mangayao 0, Tibayan 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18; 38-30; 65-56; 88-76.