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Ayo officially set to lead Tigers

UST cited Aldin Ayo’s discipline-based basketball program “that gives primary importance to the academic life of the student-athletes” and his desire to coach the Growling Tigers on a “modest salary scheme” as key reasons for his hiring.

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Photo courtesy of Richard Esguerra/ABS-CBN Sports.

It is official: UST has confirmed on Monday, Jan. 8, that former Green Archers headmaster Aldin Ayo will lead the Growling Tigers next season as the team’s new head coach, formally taking over the post left vacant by Boy Sablan after he resigned last November.

In a statement released on the official Facebook page of the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, UST said it sought Ayo’s coaching services knowing that his contract with the Archers bound him to La Salle only until the end of 2017.

The University cited Ayo’s discipline-based basketball program “that gives primary importance to the academic life of the student-athletes” and his desire to coach the Tigers on a “modest salary scheme” as key reasons for his hiring.

“We in UST actively collaborate with individuals who can help us fulfill our vision to form student-athletes to become not only competitive in their chosen fields, but more importantly respectful of their competitors,” the statement read.

Last Jan. 2, Ayo took to Twitter to address reports of his exit from the Taft-based squad. The LaSalllian confirmed his departure the following day. Meanwhile, Ayo confirmed his move to España in a report by the Varsitarian last Jan. 5.

Ayo has played for the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, who won back-to-back championships in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 1998 and 1999.

He was awarded NCAA Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Knights to another NCAA title. The following year, Ayo bagged a UAAP title for the Archers.

The Tigers amassed just four wins and suffered 24 losses in two full UAAP seasons under Sablan. Their dismal single-win record this season was their worst since 1989. The whole coaching staff, together with Sablan, were relieved from their duties effective Nov. 30.

Following Sablan’s resignation, Mario Bonleon and Renzo Subido are now gearing for their comeback after refusing to play for the Tigers this season (READ: Bonleon, Subido to return for Tigers after Sablan quits).

TomasinoWeb has sought Ayo for comment but he is yet to respond as of press time.

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UST welcomes former Lyceum bigman as Growling Tiger

The UST Growling Tigers have found their newest addition to the team in the form of Germy Mahinay, a former reserve of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates for NCAA Season 94.

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The UST Growling Tigers have found their newest addition to the team in the form of Germy Mahinay, a former reserve of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates for NCAA Season 94.

Contrary to Tiebreaker Times saying that the 6’6” center is eligible to play with the Tigers starting UAAP Season 82, Mahinay will see action this coming season of the UAAP Men’s basketball tournament since he did not play a single game for the Pirates.

“Makakalaro ako ngayong taon kasi hindi pa naman ako pumasok sa LPU eh kasi August pa pasukan nila so pwede pa ako makapag laro sa UST,” Mahinay said, which UST head coach Aldin Ayo confirmed later on in an online interview with TomasinoWeb.

Mahinay has been training with the Tigers for more than a week now.

His decision to move to España was because he wanted to play this year, but Lyceum failed to give him the chance to do so.

He also said his transfer was based on UST’s offer for his education, which he no longer disclosed to TomasinoWeb.

“Maganda po ang offer ng UST saakin at para sa future ko kaya po nag decide po akong lumipat,” he explained.

Despite his sudden change of heart, he said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson was kind enough to accept his transfer.

“Kung yun daw ang nakakabuti sa future ko, sige daw papayagan niya ako. Pero kung gusto ko daw bumalik ulit sa LPU, open naman daw po sila at tatangapin pa daw ako,” the 20-year old bigman said.

“Nagpapasalamat pa din po ako kay coach Topex dahil binigyan niya ako ng pagkakataon na makasali sa team ng LPU. Pero sa ngayon po nag decide na din po ako.”

He averaged 4.0 points and 4.9 rebounds in his last season with the San Beda Red Cubs.

Mahinay is an incoming freshman student of the College of Commerce and Business Administration major in Marketing Management.

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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.

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.

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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