Tigers stay in the hunt

University of Santo Tomas nipped St. Clare-Virtual Reality, 78-75, to keep its playoff hopes alive in the PBA D-League yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Dave Ando produced the go-ahead basket while Brent Paraiso hit two buffer free throws in the final 4.3 seconds as the Growling Tigers improved to 6-2 in the Aspirants’ Group, a game ahead of the Saints (5-3).

The victory also allowed second-running Ironcon UST to move closer from claiming the twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.     Earlier, City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R remained in the hunt for the Foundation Group top spot with a 105-82, dismantling of lowly CD14 Designs-TUA.

Emmanuel Bonleon uncorked 20 of his 23 points in the first half as the Golden Harvest took the 36-23 lead at the end of the first period and never looked back.

It was City of Valencia Bukidnon’s fourth straight win and seventh overall in eight contest to level with idle Centro Escolar University for the best record in their group.

“Ang sa amin, ang focus namin is one game at a time. May opportunity sa top spot at dahil doon, na-motivate ang mga bata, so why not?,” said Golden Harvest coach Egay Macaraya.

Allyn Bulanadi came through with a team-high 28 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists, while JM Calma had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds for City of Valencia Bukidnon-SSC-R.