Growling Tigers surrender to Adamson; veterans miss action in first half
Parading a relatively younger lineup in their first half against the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers could not put a punctuation on their losing skid, 61-76, in the UAAP Season 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Wednesday, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
UST head coach Rodil ‘Boy’ Sablan blunted that it was his decision to bench veterans Louie Vigil, Kent Lao, Marvin Lee and Renzo Subido in the entire first half as a way of disciplinary action.
“Nagkaroon lang ng kaunting problema, kaya binigyan ko sila nu’n [disciplinary action].” He explained. “Ginawa ko ito para na rin sa sake ng team, tsaka ito ‘yung tama.”
The España-based squad could not deliver the goods in the payoff period as the Soaring Falcons showcased a 17-4 run and never looked back, 54-72.
The late heroic runs by UST’s main gunners Jamil Sheriff and Lao were not enough as time was winding down and AdU continued to pile up points from the stripes, 61-76.
“We had a miscommunication lang po yesterday. Ako po mali nu’n kaya na benched kami noong first half.” Team captain Vigil opened his side in an exclusive text message to TomasinoWeb. “We were late at practice yesterday and we thought alam ni coach boy na male-late kami. So fault po talaga namin kasi hindi kami nakapag paalam.”
With the loss, UST Growling Tigers dropped to 3-10 win-loss card while Adamson sealed the last slot for final four as they eliminated University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and National University Bulldogs in contention.
Despite the absence of the veterans in the first half, Growling Tigers managed to keep the game in striking distance but Adamson’s Robbie Manalang proved to be too much to handle on his back-to-back drives into the rim, 30-37.
“Pinakita ko lang ‘yung future ng team next year, kaya naman nila di’ba?” Sablan said after using his second stringers, Regie Basibas, Zachary Huang, Enrique Caunan, Justin Arana, and Oliver de Guzman, together with big men William Afoakwah, Jan Macasaet, and Jeepy Faundo.
Sheriff was the lone veteran in the lineup.
“Binigyan ko ng plays yung mga bata, at nagdeliver naman sila.” He added. “Paunti-unti, para madevelop natin yung confidence sa kanila.”
Sheriff carried the load for UST with 13 markers of his own while Manalang and Jerrick Ahanmisi provided one-two punch for combined 32 points
The Growling Tigers will face the Ateneo Blue Eagles as their last assignment for this season on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the same venue.
Quarter Scores: 19-21, 32-37, 50-56, 61-76
UST (61): Sheriff 13, Lao 12, Basibas 8, Vigil 6, Macasaet 6, Huang 4, Caunan 4, Afoakwah 3, Arana 3, de Guzman 2, Faundo 0. Lee 0, Subido 0
AdU (76): Manalang 16, Ahanmisi 16, Manganti 9, Tungcab 8, Sarr 7, Mustre 7, Ochea 6, Espleta 6, Bernardo 2, Camacho 2, Paranada 0, Chua 0, Ng 0
Photo by Genelaine Urbano (file photo)