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Junior Tigers clobber Baby Tams

UST now leads the junior men’s volleyball tournament with 1-0, and they are one win away to claim their first-ever title in juniors division.

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The UST Junior Tiger Spikers drew first blood in their opening game against Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, in the best-of-three finals round of UAAP Season 80 junior men’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena, Monday, Nov. 27.

Only up by 15-12 in the fourth set, UST’s one-two punch of Efraim Dimaculangan and Rey Miguel De Vega was too much for FEU, scoring 8 of the last 10 points for the Junior Tigers to deliver the goods, 25-18.

UST now leads the series with 1-0, and they are one win away to claim their first-ever title in juniors division.

UST Head Coach Clarence Esteban still doesn’t let his guard down despite their momentous victory.

“Alam naman nating lalaban at lalaban sila [FEU],” Esteban said. “We just have to expect kung ano yung changes or magiging iba sa mga gagawin nila.”

Down 15-18 at the first set, UST regained the momentum with a 7-1 surge, 22-19, courtesy of couple of service aces and cross court kills by De Vega that were too hot to handle for FEU. De Vega would seal the deal with another cross court attack, 25-23.

De Vega led UST with 18 points, while Dimaculangan and Requinton contributed 13 apiece.

UST will try to close out the series in Game 2 next Monday, Dec. 4 at the same venue, against the Baby Tamaraws.

by Cyreel Gian Zarate

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Juniors’ MVP CJ Cansino joins Growling Tigers

CJ Cansino already began his training with the Tigers under newly-appointed head coach Aldin Ayo.

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Photo from UST head coach Aldin Ayo’s Twitter account

The Growling Tigers will now expect the services of reigning Juniors’ MVP CJ Cansino in UAAP Season 81, as Cansino himself expressed his commitment to stay with UST.

“UST ang nagbigay ng chance na maabot ko ‘yung pangarap ko. Hndi ko maaabot lahat ‘to kung wala ang UST,” Cansino told TomasinoWeb. “Gusto ko rin makatulong na iangat yung basketball program.”

Cansino already began his training with the Tigers under newly-appointed head coach Aldin Ayo, and has started to adapt to the system.

“Nag-training na po ako and tinutulungan naman ako ni coach [Ayo] na makasabay agad sa practice,” he said.

Ayo was first to welcome Cansino by posting a picture together with his coaching staff on Twitter.

Cansino is a homegrown talent from the Tiger Cubs who recently led his team in Final Four at the third spot.

He also bagged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, making him the first Thomasian to win the MVP plum since Kevin Ferrer in 2010.

Although Cansino is expected to share his minutes alongside veterans Regie Boy Basibas, Jordan Sta. Ana, and returning Mario Bonleon, he is more than willing to accept his role as an incoming rookie for the España-based squad.

“Ibibigay ko ‘yung best ko kung anuman ‘yung role na ibigay sa akin ni coach, and gagawin ko lahat hindi lang pang-sarili kundi para sa UST rin para manalo,” he stated.

UST is currently on a rebuilding process after an abysmal campaign in both Seasons 79 and 80, only winning four out of their 28 outings.

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Cansino is all set to help the Tigers bounce back from a forgettable season.

“Gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko para lang maipanalo at maiangat na rin ang UST,” he ended.

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Tiger Cubs settle for third, falter vs NU

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File photo. (Photo by Ralph Rainell Estrella/TomasinoWeb)

The University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs took home the bronze medal after running out of fuel against the Nazareth School of National University Bullpups, 72-91, in the stepladder semifinals round of UAAP Season 80 junior’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena Tuesday.

Jules Anunciacion and Rayjhun Baquial buried back-to-back baskets in the final period for UST to cut the lead by 11, 58-69, but NU sparked a 19-8 run giving them their biggest lead by 22 points, 88-66.

UST were able to score six points in the crucial period, but NU scored three more points to finally close out the game, 72-91.

“Sobrang pagod na rin ng mga bata, kasi halos wala na rin kaming pahinga after noong FEU game namin noong eliminations,” Tiger Cubs head coach Chris Cantonjos explained. “Kung nabigyan lang din sana kami ng at least one-day off, I think na-sustain namin (yung NU).”

Despite the team’s failure to force the series into a do-or-die duel, Cantonjos praised his players for exceeding his expectation for the team.

“Thankful ako sa mga players kasi sabi ko noong una walang naniniwala na makakaakyat kami dito (sa Final 4),” he said.

Baquial and Villapando led UST with 16 points apiece while John Cansino finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds. NU’s Terrence Fortea and Miguel Ocsea tallied 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Box Scores:

UST (72) – Baquial 16, Villapando 16, Lina 10, Cansino 10, Narvasa 10, Anunciacion 6, Palencia 2, Dolendo 2, Manabat 0, Relucio 0, Estrella 0, Dela Cruz 0, Benzonan 0.

READ  Growling Tigers down Warriors to clinch third win

NU (91) – Fortea 17, Oczon 16, Javillionar 13, Amsali 12, Manalang 11, Coyoca, 8, Gonzales, Pangilinan 4, Minerva 2, Malonzo 2, Vinoya 2, Dayrit 0, Felisilda 0.

Quarter scores: 17-21, 31-45, 51-67, 72-91.

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UST foils Baby Tams in crunch time

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Photo by Ralph Rainell Estrella/TomasinoWeb

The University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs prevailed over the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws with a huge comeback in the payoff period, 81-80, in the UAAP Season 80 semifinals round of the junior’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagles Gym Saturday.

RJ Abarrientos led FEU’s offense in the deciding period, burying four out of their five trips to the rainbow area to extend the lead by 13, 79-66.

UST then countered with their own four treys which resulted in a 14-0 surge, including a clutch pull-up jumper by RJ Baquial with 1:12 remaining in the clock, 80-79.

FEU’s LJ Gonzales had a chance to reclaim the lead but only managed to tie the game, 80-all, sinking one of his two free throws.

Kobe Palencia would seal the deal for the Tiger Cubs by hitting one of two in the charity stripe, 81-80.

UST head coach Chris Cantonjos gave credit to his players for their mental toughness and willingness to win the game.

“Nakuha na namin lahat at naexperience noong eliminations at kumbaga nainput na nila yung gusto nating mangyari,” he said. “Ang ginagawa na nila kanina kusa na talaga na gustong-gusto talaga nilang manalo.”

UST had a nine-point advantage at the start of second canto, 24-15, but FEU paraded a 12-0 run to grab the lead, 24-27.

Jezreel Villapando shot back-to-back treys to regain the lead, 30-27, but FEU’s 14-3 blitz overshadowed his momentum, 41-33.

Liam Manabat drained a triple at the buzzer to cut the lead to five, 41-36.

MVP frontrunner CJ Cansino paced UST with 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Baquial contributed 13 markers.

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FEU’s Abarrientos tallied game-high 24 points while Xyrus Torres had 11 markers.

UST will try to keep their momentum going against the twice-to-beat NU Bullpups on February 23, Friday, at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

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