By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
GARNERING player of the game honors, Ilonggo Mark Nonoy led the UST Growling Tigers to a stunning win against powerhouse UP Fighting Maroons, 85-69, in the UAAP Men’s basketball Season 82.
The young UST team came in firing after tip-off, shooting threes at-will and scoring on every opportunity behind Nonoy and veteran guard Renzo Subido.
The star-studded UP team tried to answer UST’s flurry, but ultimately couldn’t match the Tigers’ firepower. UP sorely missed the services of star player Kobe Paras as he missed the game due to an ankle injury.
Nonoy, Subido, and Rhenz Abando had a field day, outrunning every Fighting Maroon that stood their way during fast break situations, combining for 41 big points.
During the 4:51 mark of the final canto, UP cut UST’s lead to just 5, 72-67, and looked to regain momentum behind MVP Bright Akhuetie’s solid game with 19 points and 16 boards.
When the Maroons thought they had the momentum, Nonoy silenced the UP crowd with an array of dazzling finishes including a dagger lay-up that prevented UP from extending their run.
Subido then iced the game with his difficult step-back shot from deep with a minute left in regulation.
Coach Aldin Ayo’s machinery was still well-oiled despite his rookie pieces, completing the shocking win against a star-studded opponent.