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Tigers pull out of slugfest to claim finals berth over UP

It was yet another cardiac finish in do-or-die Wednesday as the UST Growling Tigers knocked off season 81 runners-up the UP Fighting Maroons with a 68-65 triumph to snap their four-year Finals drought in the UAAP season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Wednesday, Nov. 13. 

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Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

It was yet another cardiac finish in do-or-die Wednesday as the UST Growling Tigers knocked off season 81 runners-up the UP Fighting Maroons with a 68-65 triumph to snap their four-year Finals drought in the UAAP season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Wednesday, Nov. 13. 

Despite a strong showing from UST in the first quarter which saw them outscore the Maroons 18-6, the rest of the contest was a dogfight between the two clubs with no clear winner in sight till the last few seconds of the game. 

The Maroons were able to go up by four points several times during the payoff period but clutch defense which led to crucial stops gave the Tigers a fighting chance to still pull out a win. 

With over 26 seconds left in regulation, the veteran Renzo Subido fired a huge triple over UP big man Bright Akhuetie which ultimately ended up as the game winning shot that gave UST a 66-65 lead as time expired. 

UP had its chances to retake the lead with a Kobe Paras attempt at a triple and a missed shot from Javi Gomez De Liaño, both of which resulted in crucial misses that led to MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo icing the game at the free-throw line.

James Spencer from UP had one last second attempt at a game-tying triple that resulted in a miss and capped off an underwhelming season for the Maroons. 

“That was a good game. We have to give credit to coach Bo [Perasol] and his coaching staff for the adjustments they made. It was real tough for us, because of their adjustments, na-negate yung mga ginagawa namin and we tried to counter, we were able to get our shots kaya lang hindi pumapasok but I kept on telling the boys keep on taking those shots kasi yun naman talaga yung tinitira namin.” Coach Aldin Ayo stated in the post-game presscon. 

Reigning MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo once again lead the charge for the Tigers with 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Renzo Subido poured in 14 points built on four triples, with one serving as the dagger for UST.

“Its just part of the game. I took the shot kasi ‘di lumapit si Bright [Akhuetie] eh. Yun lang, I’ve been practicing those everyday and I was confident with the shot.” Subido remarked when asked about his dagger three-pointer. 

Bright Akhuetie paced UP with a 16 point, 17 rebound double-double. Graduating point guard Jun Manzo and Ricci Rivero scored 12 points apiece, with this game being Manzo’s swan song in the UAAP.

With the win, UST sets up a finals duel against the unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Game one of the UAAP season 82 finals will be played this Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

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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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