MANILA—University of Santo Tomas moved on to the next round of the UAAP men's basketball stepladder semifinals after ousting Far Eastern University, 81-71, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday night.
The Growling Tigers zapped the Tamaraws, 28-12, in the second quarter to open a 26-point halftime lead, 54-28.
UST, however, still had to hold off FEU down the stretch especially after the latter drew to within seven with less than a minute left.
Chabi Chabi Yo, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the season, finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists to lead the Growling Tigers, who will face the UP Fighting Maroons in the next phase of the playoffs on Sunday night back at "The Big Dome".
UP will be carrying along a twice-to-beat advantage as the second seed.
Brent Paraiso added 18 points and five rebounds for UST.
Newly-crowned Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy chipped in six markers, four caroms, seven dimes, and one steal.
Ken Tuffin led the Tams, who will take the fourth place finish, with 20 points, five boards, one assist, and one steal.
The winner between UP and UST will advance in the finals against the Ateneo Blue Eagles who swept the eliminations (14-0).
UST 81 -- Chabi Yo 25, Paraiso 18, Subido 14, Abando 9, Nonoy 6, Huang 4, Bataller 3, Cansino 2, Ando 0, Concepcion 0, Cuajao 0.
FEU 71 -- Tuffin 20, Gonzales 11, Cani 10, Ebona 9, Comboy 8, Torres 8, Tchuente 5, Alforque 0, Bayquin 0, Bienes 0, Stockton 0.
Quarters: 26-16, 54-28, 70-56, 81-71. (PNA)