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Tigers exit with grace, repel Tamaraws

MANILA, Philippines -- The UST Growling Tigers ended their forgettable UAAP Season 86 on a positive note after quelling a comeback effort by the FEU Tamaraws, 57-53, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

UST jumped to a 12-point lead, 39-27, in the second quarter.

However, FEU cut the lead to just five in the third period.

The Tigers found their stride anew, as they took a 15-point lead, 44-29, with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.

The Tamaraws, however, showcased their trademark grit as they cut the deficit once again.

Outgoing LJay Gonzales made a layup with 2:41 left to turn the game into a two-possession affair.

However, Gonzales ended his collegiate career the next possession as he fouled out.

Splits from the line by Paul Manalang and Nic Cabanero gave UST a 56-50 cushion with 24.9 seconds left in the game.

FEU's Jorick Bautista then made a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left to inch closer.

Another make-and-miss by Manalang slammed the door for FEU.

The Tamaraws had various chances to get close, but they missed their attempts.

Christian Manaytay had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds for UST.

Migs Pangilinan followed suit with 10 points and five boards.

Bautista led FEU with 17 points.

In his last game as a Tamaraw, Gonzales had four points, six rebounds and four assists.

The new-look Growling Tigers thus ended their disappointing campaign with a 2-12 record.

FEU, meanwhile, ended their season with a 3-11 slate.