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Jordi ‘lucky to be in UST,’ says UPIS coach

“Napakaswerte ng UST na nakuha nila si Jordi, and at the same time napakaswerte ni Jordi na napunta siya sa UST,” UPIS Junior Fighting Maroons Head Coach, Paolo Mendoza said in an interview with TomasinoWeb.

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Jordi Gomez de Liano leaves the Fighting Maroons to join the UST Growling Tigers. Photo from the UAAP.

A brighter future lies ahead for the UST Men’s Basketball Team as another Tiger joins the den. 

University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) standout shooter Jordi Gomez de Liaño heads to España as he continues his basketball career.

“Napakaswerte ng UST na nakuha nila si Jordi, and at the same time napakaswerte ni Jordi na napunta siya sa UST,” UPIS Junior Fighting Maroons Head Coach, Paolo Mendoza said in an interview with TomasinoWeb on June 11.

According to Coach Paolo, UST’s achievements  will guarantee that Jordi’s skills will be honed enough for his basketball career at his collegiate level.

“Yung contribution niya sa part ng UST in terms of  [their] drive nila for Final Four…[UST] you will be surprised na magiging vital part si Jordi doon,” Mendoza added.

Aside from Jordi’s six-foot-five height advantage and his skill as a shooter, Coach Paolo also said that the player’s intelligence and understanding of the game would serve as an asset to the coaching staff of UST.

The Gomez de Liaño brothers are all products of the UPIS Junior Fighting Maroons, and their basketball program rocketed for the success of their players once they go to the collegiate level. 

According to an interview with Dale Villajuan, team manager of the UPIS Men’s Basketball, the UPIS program is a promising one since it trains their athletes to be adaptable and he also shared that he is all in full-support of Jordi in his decisions. 

“The management will support him kung saan siya mag-(go)grow, kung saan may opportunity for him to grow, to be a better player. We will definitely support him,” he added. 

Villajuan also said that Jordi’s aura is different compared to his brothers when playing inside the court, since he knows Jordi is more of a shy type, but he also sees that as there is an improvement of Jordi’s confidence. “I’m sure na flo-flourish yung career [ni Jordi] mo with UST, I know that they have a very good basketball program under Coach Jinino Manansala,” Villajuan added.

The team manager also mentioned that Jordi’s talent and athleticism is an advantage inside the arena.

Jordi Gomez de Liano averaged 13 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Junior Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 82. 

 A restart and a new era is in sight for the Growling Tigers for the upcoming UAAP Season after the controversial training bubble in Sorsogon, as UST Men’s Basketball Team might still have an ace in their cards.

 

READ  Rebuilt Growling Tigers squad seek growth in this UAAP season
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Chabi Yo bids UST goodbye, signs with Spanish team

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

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Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

UAAP Season 82 most valuable player Soulemane Chabi Yo parts ways with UST as he heads to Europe to play for a division 4 team in Spain.

The 6-foot-6 Beninese center will forego his final playing year for the University which is currently aimed to be held by mid-February of 2022.

“We are grateful for his playing years with UST and we wish him nothing but the best in his international basketball career,” Growling Tigers coach Jinino Manansala told TomasinoWeb.

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

“My plan was to finish my playing years in UST before leaving but since COVID came, that destroyed all the plans of everyone,” he wrote to coach Manansala.

When Chabi Yo told UST and its coaching staff about his decision, he mentioned that the time has come to pursue his personal goals.

“I already turn[ed] down so many offers each year but this time I decided to grab the opportunity. I still have a lot of things to improve. I wish I could stay but I also have my personal dreams and goals to achieve,” he added.

Chabi Yo dominated the UAAP during his one-and-done year, bagging the MVP title with 16.9 points per game and a league-best 14.7 rebounds per game. 

The 25-year-old big man was vital to UST’s finals run in 2019 as he led UST to a second-place finish, the University’s best placing since 2015.

With Chabi Yo’s departure, 6-foot-8 Senegal native and former NU Bulldog Adama Faye will serve as the University’s foreign student-athlete come UAAP Season 84.

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UST gains combo guard Nicael Cabañero

Six-foot-2 Cabañero is ready and gives his full trust to  the coaching staff to any role and position  that he may play inside the court..

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Photo courtesy of Nicael Cabañero/ Instagram

The Growling Tigers gained another talent as Tiger Cub Nicael Cabañero joins the revamp basketball program of the University of Santo Tomas. 

On Wednesday, a source confirmed that Cabanero will continue his commitment with UST and will play for the collegiate level.

“I am so excited to wear and represent UST. Excited na rin ako sa sigawang ng UST community at magkaroon ng UAAP Season 84,” Cabañero said in an interview with Tomasinoweb.

“Hindi ko na iniisip ang mga [ibang] offers ganon basta mahalaga kung saan napili ko kung saan mag-improve and grow.” Cabañero said. 

UST with young players on their pack, Cabañero believes that he can contribute in the team especially with the new head coach Jinino Manansala under their watch.

“Although karamihan sa amin are new players, nasa puso na talaga na maging dilaw,” he added.

Six-foot-2 Cabañero is ready and gives his full trust to  the coaching staff to any role and position  that he may play inside the court.

“I think ang coaches na po ang bahala if ano ipapagawa sa akin kasi kaya ko po maging combo guard,” he said. 

As the pandemic halts the UAAP Season 83 to proceed, this does not put off the hopes of Cabañero to continuously train and be prepared for the upcoming UAAP Season 84. 

“I do train everyday kahit limited lang yung court, minsan nakakawalang gana pero hindi ko iniisip yun kasi para sa akin yung training na yun ay para mas mag-improve ako and mas better everyday,” Cabañero said as he is eager to put all his efforts for UST.

The collegiate level of basketball might be new to Cabañero since there are bigger and taller players but he keeps his mind and body focused in conditioning himself to the league.

“I am so excited to wear and represent UST…Thankful ako sa mga coaches ko dahil ang laki ng tiwala nila sa akin,” Cabañero mentioned. 

He was also part of the championship of the San Beda Red Cubs in NCAA Season 94 and was soon recruited by former head coach Aldin Ayo in Cebu  to join the UST Tiger Cubs.

He averaged 6.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals in his 12 games on NCAA Season 95. 

As a new chapter awaits with UST, the basketball program of the UST Men’s Basketball Team continues its revamps in preparation for the next season.

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Lethal scorer Kean Baclaan enters the tigers den

University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers added firepower to their backcourt with the commitment of former De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers Gunner Kean Baclaan.

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Photo by Raffy Javier

University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers added firepower to their backcourt with the commitment of former De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers Gunner Kean Baclaan.

When asked by TomasinoWeb why he chose UST over other schools, Baclaan mentioned that the University will help him show his skills and in turn he will help UST to recover as well. 

Before he played for Zobel, Baclaan also starred with the San Sebastian Staglets which he helped capture the MILCU Under-19 crown by scoring 23 points in their finals match-up against La Salle Greenhills last March 2019. 

The 18-year-old player thinks that the system of UST fits him well, “Like I said, dinala ko yung talent na meron ako, kung saan ma f-fit yung laro ko, siguro sa system ni Coach Jinino ko malalaro yung laro ko.”

Kean joins the likes of Jordi Gomez De Liaño, LA Cansinillo and Royce Mantua whose news of commitment with the Tigers broke out over the last few days. 

Prior to playing as a member of the España-based basketball squad in Season 85 of the UAAP, Baclaan will first enter UST-SHS and will eventually join the practices of UST’s Men’s Basketball Team. 

The 5-foot-8 guard averaged a little over 16 points, 8 rebound and 3 assists per game in his last stint with DLSZ Junior Archers just before the pandemic halted basketball leagues in the country. 

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