MANILA, Philippines--When University of Santo Tomas (UST) found itself trailing by four points against University of the Philippines (UP) with just a minute and 41 seconds left, veteran point guard Renzo Subido knew exactly what he needed to do.
"Kapag ako lang mag-isa, I really imagine na I'm gonna be in those kinds of moments, situations," Subido says. "Sini-simulate ko siya sa practice."
UST was trailing 78-74 when Subido drew a foul against UP guard Jun Manzo, and knocked down two charities to make it a one possession game. After the Growling Tigers got a stop, Subido again took charge, setting up Brent Paraiso for the go-ahead three-pointer with 53.5 seconds to go.
UP called a timeout, but the Fighting Maroons didn't even have a chance to get a shot off as Juan Gomez de Liaño turned the ball over while driving to the hoop. Subido again called for the ball, and with the clock winding down and the taller Gomez de Liaño draped all over him, he drilled the biggest shot of the game.
That shot gave UST an 82-78 lead with just 26.7 ticks left; the Tigers went on to win 84-78. Subido finished with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting, along with 5 assists.
Afterward, he said that he had no doubts about taking the shot that proved to be the dagger.
"As one of the leaders, andoon ako sa moment na 'yun na, this is my moment, sabi ko. I'm going to take this shot," he said.
"Win or lose, mananalo o matatalo 'yung team, I made the decisions, and ayun, pina-practice ko naman yun every day, so confident ako with my shots."
That he took -- and made -- the crucial three-pointer did not surprise UST coach Aldin Ayo, who has put his trust in the graduating Subido.
"Well, siya ang pinakamatanda, siya ang pinaka-senior, so we're expecting na he's going to make the right decision," he said.
"There were instances na iniisip ko, kailangan ko ba ibalik si Mark (Nonoy)?" he admitted. "But I'll go for experience."
Subido won't deny that the situation was pressure-packed. The game was an especially crucial one for UST, as a victory would keep them in the hunt for the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final 4. A loss, however, would be a blow to their semifinals hopes given the jumbled nature of the league standings.
"Yeah, grabe 'yung pressure," said Subido.
"But mas grabe yung feeling na I don't wanna lose against UP, and I don't wanna fail in my last year."
Thanks in part to Subido's superb play in crunch time, the Growling Tigers swept their season series against UP, and improved to 6-5 in the tournament. They are now just half a game behind the Fighting Maroons for the No. 2 seed.
Subido said he believes that Wednesday's impressive win will be a major boost to them heading into their last three games of the elimination round.
"I told my teammates na we really have to win this game against UP, kasi it's gonna help us compete," he said. "Especially, confidence-wise, tataas, lalo na pag hinarap namin yung three remaining games namin."
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