Kean Baclaan sizzled with 35 points as Builders Warehouse-UST escaped Adalem-St.Clare, 98-95, to force a sudden death in their quarterfinals duel in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup 2022 on Friday, Aug. 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Baclaan dropped 16 of his output in the third frame before capping off his scintillating performance with a dagger triple with 1:37 left in the game to give the Tigers a 97-90 lead which proved to be enough to shock the twice-to-beat Saints.
The 19-year-old rookie also issued a perfect pass to Nicael Cabañero who scored on an alley-oop to trigger the telling 5-0 spurt and create the much-needed separation after St.Clare cut the lead down to just two, 92-90, with over two minutes left in the contest.
Cabañero had his fair share of the spotlight with 25 points of his own while Sherwin Concepcion added 18.
Joshua Fontanilla led the way with 23 points for St. Clare while fourth leading scorer in the tournament, Johnsherick Estrada, finished with 15 points. John Rojas also contributed 13 and nine rebounds.
St. Clare will have another shot at eliminating the resurgent UST on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
UST actually bucked a slow start as St. Clare built its largest lead in the ballgame towards the end of the opening frame 25-10. The Tigers though slowly found their bearings going in the second quarter and cut the lead down to just four, 42-39, at the half.
Baclaan then took over in the second half, especially during the 33-point third quarter explosion for the Tigers to take a 72-70 lead heading into the final frame.