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Tigers fail to find answers as Eagles come alive to take Game 1

Playing their first game in over two weeks, the defending champs easily cruised to a dominant start, opening the game with an 18-4 blast led by Thirdy Ravena who scored 11 straight points for the Eagles to give his squad a 32-17 start. 

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Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

The currently unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles showed no signs of rust as they easily snatched Game 1 of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball finals over the underdog UST Growling Tigers, 91-77, held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao Saturday, Nov. 16. 

Playing their first game in over two weeks, the defending champs easily cruised to a dominant start, opening the game with an 18-4 blast led by Thirdy Ravena who scored 11 straight points for the Eagles to give his squad a 32-17 start. 

The Tigers looked ready to close the gap in the second quarter when reigning rookie of the year Mark Nonoy came alive to spearhead a 19-3 run to cut Ateneo’s 19 point advantage down to eight. 

Ateneo however, countered with a 13-1 run of their own to head into halftime leading 54-39. 

Come the third quarter, the Eagles started to pull away further, once again being led by Thirdy Ravena who poured in 12 of Ateneo’s 22 points in the period. 

The fourth and final quarter saw a subdued scoring affair for Ateneo as they were held to just 15 points by the Tigers. 

Despite the Atenean masterclass, UST actually came close in quarter per quarter scoring, especially in the second and fourth quarters that saw them go 22-all against the Eagles and outscoring them 19-15, respectively.

Even with the loss, Coach Aldin Ayo stressed that the team won’t be heading into Wednesday’s matchup with tons of pressure and would focus more on the necessary preparations to extend the series.

“Not so much dun sa pressure eh. Magfofocus kami sa preparations, titignan, pag-aaralan namin yung laro kung ano yung kailangan baguhin don,” the champion mentor stated in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy had a herculean effort to lead UST with a career-high 26 points with 12 of those coming in his squad’s huge second quarter run. 

Brent Paraiso chipped in 14 points and reigning MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds to go along with Nonoy’s offensive outburst. 

For the Eagles, last year’s Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena went off with a game-high 32 points while Ivorian stalwart Ange Kouame had an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double. 

The two-way threat SJ Belangel also had 12 points on an efficient 4-of-9 shooting for the Katipunan-based squad.

Game 2 of the Finals is set to be played on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena as the Tigers attempt to bring the series to a decisive third and final game.

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Abando-less UST bows out of PCCL contention

The UST Growling Tigers were eliminated by the San Beda Red Lions, 68-77, in a matchup between the UAAP and NCAA runner ups in the final day of eliminations in the 2020 PCCL UAAP-NCAA Challenge.

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Ralph Rainell Estrella/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigers were eliminated by the San Beda Red Lions, 68-77, in a matchup between the UAAP and NCAA runner ups in the final day of eliminations in the 2020 PCCL UAAP-NCAA Challenge held at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020.

James Kwekuteye led the Legarda-based squad with 14 points and seven assists with the help of Peter Alfaro finishing with 13 markers and two clutch offensive rebounds, while UST’s team captain CJ Cansino held his own with 21 points and nine boards.

It was slow start for both teams until San Beda drew first blood while the Tigers still in the cold missing Rhenz Abando’s presence because of sore eyes.

Free-throws helped UST keep themselves in the game despite their dismal 3/20 shooting while San Beda fared better at 7/19 ending the first half doubling their lead of six from the first quarter, 39-27.

UST entered the second half strong, with their three-pointers starting to go in, but a relentless Red Lion squad and a slump to end the third quarter had them with a 46-62 deficit heading into the fourth.

Momentum shifted to the España side as the final canto arrived with consecutive turnovers from San Beda and huge buckets from Brent Paraiso and CJ Cansino cut the deficit down to single-digits.

However, UST struggled to knock their free throws down as San Beda regained their composure to ultimately pull away with the win.

Brent Paraiso chipped in 12 points while reigning UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo faced another another scoring slump finishing with only six points and nine rebounds. Mark Nonoy was also unsuccessful in finding his range with nine markers and seven boards.

San Beda’s Ralph Penuela finished with 11 points and five dimes and big man Kenmark Cariño with 10 points, seven boards, and two blocks.

Reigning NCAA MVP Calvin Oftana finished with a dismal outing, scoring only six points.

San Beda will now advance to the Final Four of the tournament happening next weekend, Feb. 22-23 at the Davao City Recreational Center. Richie Paul Brillo 

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Emotions stop UST from getting back against Ateneo

UST will face the NCAA runner-ups San Beda Red Lions next on the final day of eliminations.

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Ralph Reinell Estrella/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigers was handed its first loss by the defending UAAP champions the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 71-82, in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League’s UAAP-NCAA Challenge at the FilOil Flying V Centere in San Juan on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.

Lots of drama happened from the start up to the end as the rivals of the UAAP from España and Katipunan squared up once again, with SJ Belangel proving to be the new “King Eagle” after scoring 26 points while for the Tigers, Renz Abando and Deo Cuajao finished with 14 points each. 

Belangel stepped up to give Ateneo the early lead with the help of the team’s chippy defense that led to UST’s sloppy 7 turnovers to start the game.

Along with Belangel’s efforts and Ateneo’s defense, high-level rebounding and sloppy fouls from the Tigers led to an early 15-29 deficit for UST.

Deo Cuajao and Rhenz Abando combined for an 8-0 run in the second quarter that helped UST back into the game, along with better rebounding overall, however turnovers and Ateneo maintaining their composure culminated in the Tigers trailing 38-48 after the first 20 minutes.

In the third quarter, UST started off strong before SJ Belangel proceeded to erupt for three consecutive triples to extinguish UST’s momentum.

Ultimately the Tigers ended the third quarter on a high note with momentum on their side, especially after fouls on Pat Maagdenberg and head coach Tab Baldwin. 

Heading into the fourth quarter with a score of 65-66, UST was outscored by the defending  UAAP champs 16-6, with Ateneo functioning well on both sides of the floor, courteousy of SJ Belangel’s orchestration and Ange Kouame’s inside presence. 

UST team captain CJ Cansino chipped in 10 markers and former NSNU Bullpup Paul Manalang contributed 6 dimes, while reigning UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo only scored five points along with six rebounds. 

Ateneo’s Kouame however finished with double-double of 15 points and 13 boards helped by the new Fil-Am recruit Dwight Ramos with eight markers and three assists. 

UST will face the NCAA runner-ups San Beda Red Lions next on the final day of eliminations on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the same venue. R. P. Brillo

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Tiger Cubs on the verge of missing Final Four spot

It was a crucial matchup for the Tiger Cubs as it was one of the last resorts for them to clinch a Final Four spot in the tournament. 

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Corinne Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Tiger Cubs’ Final Four hopes are in jeopardy after a 73-81 loss to the FEU Baby Tamaraws in the UAAP season 82 juniors’ basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.

It was a crucial matchup for the Tiger Cubs as it was one of the last resorts for them to clinch a Final Four spot in the tournament. 

It was a close match for both teams, but late in the fourth quarter, turnovers hurt the Tiger Cubs after tallying 19 turnovers which gave the Baby Tamaraws 19 points out of those turnovers. 

John Lina led the Tiger Cubs with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Jacob Refuerzo- Cortez and Jethro Escoto also played big for the squad by tallying 15 and 13 points respectively.

Defense on the other hand was a key for the Baby Tamaraws to win the game after notching 10 blocks and 12 steals all throughout.

For the Baby Tams, Anfernee Estacio led the charge with 19 points while Chiolo Anonuevo and Patrick Sleat chipped in 13 markers apiece. Anonuevo also had 10 rebounds to go along with his scoring. 

FEU’s bench scoring was also a key factor for their win as their bench scored 29 points, a stark contrast to UST’s bench that only had six points. 

The loss now brings the Tiger Cubs down to a 6-7 slate, giving them smaller chances to enter the Final Four. Lyka Jazmin Dela Cruz

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