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Laure, Meneses departure ‘blessing in disguise’, says Reyes



Photo by Kennelf Monteza/TomasinoWeb

Facing a tough setback as a team, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses remain unfazed on their quest for another successful campaign this UAAP Season 80.

UST head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes and the rest of the Tigresses will encounter their most challenging hurdles this season – the crucial loss of EJ Laure who was forced to sit out this season due to shoulder injury, and Ria Meneses who decided to forego her final playing year.

“Well-seasoned player na ito [si Meneses]. Talagang aasahan mo na talaga especially last year na niya… suddenly nag-iba ng desisyon na gusto na lang magconcentrate sa pag-aaral so wala naman kaming magagawa kundi respetuhin ang ganung bagay.”

“Then yung kay EJ, mas masakit kasi malapit na [yung Season 80]. Noong papunta na kami para sa camp, nagkaroon na ng problema,” he explained.

UST will also miss the presence of Alex Cabaños and Pam Lastimosa after exhausting their playing years last season.

Despite the sudden departure of their two key players, everyone in the team stepped up during their preparation which, according to Reyes, became a “blessing in disguise” for UST.

“Nagdadatingan yung mga hindi mo inaasahan na mag-step up tapos may nadagdag pa sa lineup so malaking bagay para sa atin,” he added. “Nakikita namin na hindi namin masyadong mararamdaman yung pagkawala ng dalawa.”

Last saeson, the España-based squad booked a return trip to final four for the first time since Season 74, where they placed third before bowing out against then defending champion La Salle in the semifinals.

UST also found success in the UniGames in Dumaguete where they defeated the Lady Archers in the finals.

However, Reyes aims to surpass their achievement from last year which is to claim a twice-to-beat advantage by exerting effort in every game ahead of them.

“Hopefully Final Four, pero kukuha tayo ng twice-to-beat advantage, kaya sa ngayon trabahuin natin one game at a time,” he quipped.

Spikers Cherry Rondina and Mary Dominique Pacres will lead the charge for the Tigresses, while Carla Sandoval, Tin Francisco, Caitlyn Viray, and newcomer Mallena Alessandrini are expected to consistently improve as well.

“Iba pa rin kung nandiyan sila [Laure and Meneses], pero yung bench namin every rotation matibay kahit sinong ipasok mo siguradong gagawa at gagawa ng puntos,” he assured.

The Golden Tigresses will try to surpass La Salle on their opening bout this Saturday, February 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.



Tigresses hold off Lady Falcons

The UST Growling Tigresses fend off Adamson to advance to the next phase of the stepladder semifinals versus FEU.




The UST Growling Tigresses shrugged off a fourth quarter run from the Adamson Lady Falcons, 78-69, to advance to the next phase of the stepladder semifinals in the UAAP Season 81 women’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

Leading the charge for the España-based squad is season 81 MVP Grace Irebu with a huge double-double of 28 points and 20 rebounds.

Sai Larosa and Tin Capilit also contributed 17 and 13 points, respectively.

A 5-0 personal blast from Capilit sparked UST’s double-digit lead.

With four minutes left in the game, Adamson was able to cut their 20-point deficit down to two.

“I’m speechless. First of all, thank you kay Lord for another opportunity for us to play another day. Of course credit to my coaches, staff to the players, to the team—si Grace, si Sai, si Capilit— is playing all their hearts out every time we play dito sa knockout,” UST head coach Haydee Ong said.

Nathalie Prado tallied career-high 34 points to lead Adamson on a losing effort.

UST secured an all-or-nothing match against the Far Eastern University on Nov. 28, Wednesday, the winner of which will face the much-favored National University Lady Bulldogs in the finals.

Box Scores:

UST 78 — Irebu 28, Larosa 17, Capilit 13, Rivera 6, Aujero 5, Portillo 5, Ferrer 4, Tacatac 0, Magat 0, Sangalang 0, Gonzales 0.

ADU 69 — Prado 34, Alcoy 9, Camacho 9, Cacho 6, Araja 5, Tandaan 3, Bilbao 2, Aciro 1, Cabug 0, Osano 0.


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Salinggawi Dance Troupe falls short from CDC podium by half point

The University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe finished at fourth place in the UAAP Season 81 Cheerdance Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday.



salinggawi dance troupe
Photo by Christine Tapawan

The University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe finished at fourth place in the UAAP Season 81 Cheerdance Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday.

Salinggawi’s Beyoncé-inspired routine garnered 638 points, just 0.5 behind third placer Adamson University.

“Medyo talagang nanghinayang ako when I saw the scores because the difference from the podium finish is just point five,” UST head coach Mark Chaiwalla said.

With a ten-point deduction, Salinggawi landed third in dance (346), fourth in tumbling (78.5), sixth in stunts (76.5), third in tosses (75), and fourth in pyramids (72).

“Sayang lang talaga kasi without those errors, podium pa rin sana. Nasayangan lang talaga ako kasi point five because of very avoidable errors,” Chaiwalla explained.

With their Coco-inspired performance, National University pulled away from the pack with 711 points out of the maximum 800, returning as champions after losing the title last season.

The Far Eastern University Cheering Squad landed second with 655.5 points, while 2017 champion Adamson Pep Squad dropped to third place this year with 638.5 points.

UST nonetheless won a special award, the Yamaha Best Toss.

Despite the loss, Chaiwalla said he was happy with Salinggawi’s performance, saying, “We’re not doing this just for ourselves, we’re doing this for the Thomasian community and for all those who support Salinggawi. Seeing them happy after [we] performed was already like our prize.”


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Growling Tigers take down Warriors behind Cansino-Lee tandem

CJ Cansino and Marvin Lee post historic feats to lead UST to its fifth win over the UE Red Warriors, 79-68, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena Sunday. ‬



uaap ust basketball player in game
Photo by Christine Tapawan/TomasinoWeb.

The UST Growling Tigers outplayed the University of the East Red Warriors, 79-68, in the second round eliminations of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan Sunday.

UE had the lead in the first quarter but UST took over from the second frame onwards with Marvin Lee finishing the first half with a total of seven three-point shots.

Lee and CJ Cansino connived in the second quarter to make up for their deficit in the prior frame.

“We played well. We adjusted well under offense. It’s a good thing that before the first half ended, we were able to adjust,” Ayo explained.

Cansino tallied a triple-double of 20 points on a 5-of-8 field goal, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists despite a sprained ankle, an impressive record for a rookie.

“Masaya syempre dahil nakuha ko yung triple-double. Pero sinunod ko lang yung sistema eh. Yung sistema na sharing the ball at lahat kailangan gumana, so thankful ako sa sistema,” Cansino quipped.

In addition, Zach Huang chipped in 14 points all during the second half to go along with seven rebounds and two assists, while Lee registered a career high of 30 points.

On the UE side, Alvin Pasaol and Philip Manalang had 26 and 15 markers, respectively.

The Tigers rose to a 5-5 record to further bury UE at the bottom with 1-10.

UST will look to gain their next win against De La Salle University on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Quarter Scores:

17-19, 39-33, 59-49, 79-68

Box Scores:

UST 79 — Lee 30, Cansino 20, Huang 14, Bataller 4, Bonleon 4, Agustin 2, Caunan 2, Mahinay 2, Zamora 1, Marcos 0.

UE 68 — Pasaol 26, Manalang 15, Conner 12, Bartolome 6, Varilla 4, Strait 3, Lacap 2, Beltran 0, Cullar 0, Gallardo 0, Guion 0.


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