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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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Defending champs Lady Bulldogs too much for Growling Tigresses

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Photo by Ann Corrine Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Tigresses hoped to live another day as they battled against the defending champions but failed as the Lady Bulldogs started the game strong and never looked back. 

UST was able to inch as close as 10 points in the payoff period before the Lady Bulldogs replied with an 18-4 run that immediately brought the lead out of reach in the final minutes.

Reynalyn Ferrer and MVP Grace Irebu were the key players for UST during the game as they had 16 and 11 points respectively.

On the other hand, NU continued its six-peat with three of their players scoring double digits in Monique del Carmen and Kaye Pingol who had 15 points apiece and Rhema Itesi with 12.

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Gritty Tigers swept by dynastic Ateneo despite putting up valiant effort

Even as they were able to go hold their own against the defending champs, the UST Growling Tigers were swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 79-86, in Game 2 of the best-of-three UAAP season 82 men’s basketball finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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Photo by: Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

Even as they were able to go hold their own against the defending champs, the UST Growling Tigers were swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 79-86, in Game 2 of the best-of-three UAAP season 82 men’s basketball finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Wednesday, Nov. 20. 

Just like the opening game, Ateneo got off to a fiery start and outscored the Tigers 31-18 within the first ten minutes of the contest. 

The second quarter saw a low scoring affair with UST jumping out to an 8-2 run that cut down the Blue Eagles’ once 13-point lead to seven. 

Even with the strong showing from the Tigers which included outscoring the defending champs 14-11 in the canto, Ateneo still managed to bring a 10 point lead into halftime, mainly due to the efforts of Pat Maagdenberg and the graduating Thirdy Ravena. 

Both teams came alive in the third quarter, with UST posting 30 points and Ateneo with 25, which saw UST and Ateneo going mano y mano on the offensive end. 

UST was able to get as close as one point to open the fourth quarter corteousy of team captain CJ Cansino before a quick 5-0 spurt from Thirdy Ravena and SJ Belangel re-extended the lead to four. 

After a slow scoring affair throughout the duration of the quarter, the Tigers were once again able to get as close as four points with over a minute to play after a Sherwin Concepcion triple brought the game to 71-75. 

However, as UST was inching close to a comeback, Thirdy Ravena and Ange Kouame combined forces to quickly unleash a huge 8-0 blast that iced the game and secured the championship for them. 

Thirdy Ravena once again led Ateneo with 17 points and seven rebounds in his swan song. SJ Belangel on the other hand chipped in 15 points built on five triples. 

Outgoing team captain Matt Nieto had an efficient final game as well with 14 points on a 60% shooting clip, complemented by six rebounds and five assists. 

For the Tigers, Rhenz Abando had a 16-point effort, with nine of them coming in the Tigers’ high scoring third quarter. Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy poured in 14 points to complement Abando’s performance, while MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo had a double-double of 11 points and 19 boards.

With the win, Ateneo now caps off their dream season by becoming the first team in UAAP men’s basketball to complete a 16-0 sweep.

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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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