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Salinggawi Dance Troupe eyes 9th championship, aims to gain back Thomasians’ trust

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The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe placed fourth in last year's UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Photo by Kennelf Monteza/TomasinoWeb.

With an apparent decrease of school spirit after the Growling Tiger’s unfortunate last-place finish, the much-supported Salinggawi Dance Troupe desires to bring back the trust of the Thomasian community in their athletes by aiming to win at this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition.

“Gusto naming mabalik ‘yung tiwala ng mga Thomasians sa mga atleta nila kasi since nangyari ‘yung sa basketball team natin, parang nawala ‘yung trust nila sa mga athletes nila. Gusto lang namin ibalik ‘yung trust nila in a way, by showcasing our talent and by winning,” Salinggawi president and captain Benjo Gutierrez told TomasinoWeb.

Despite missing the podium last season, Gutierrez remained positive, channeled this as an inspiration, and had even higher hopes for the team this year by eyeing not only a podium finish but their ninth championship.

“Ang iexpect nalang ng Thomasian crowd, or ng iba pang fans ng cheerleading, is a much more fiercer, a much more bolder, and mas matapang na Salinggawi Dance Troupe,” he said.

The Salinggawi Dance Troupe has been preparing since July, and two days away from their competition day, Gutierrez claimed that the team is already 95 percent ready.

“Nagprepare kami syempre bukod sa physically tsaka mentally, emotionally din tsaka spiritually. Kasi medyo maraming challenges na dumating sa amin as a team and as individuals, pero na-manage naman naming isurpass sila lahat,” he explained.

New head coach

With Salinggawi alumnus Mark Anthony Chaiwalla being appointed as new cheer coach, the team is bound to experience some changes and adjustments from their five-year stint with ex-coach Ramon Pagaduan IV.

“Syempre first year niya (Chaiwalla) sa’min, tapos ‘yung mga dating members naabutan si coach Ramon, rocky masyado eh kasi parang hindi nagm-match. Hindi namin siya gets minsan, minsan hindi niya kami gets, pero na-manage na naman namin na magcompromise,” Gutierrez stated.

Despite claiming their relationship as “rocky,” Gutierrez praised Chaiwalla for his “act of boldness” and for trying to bring out the best in each of the team’s members.

“Hindi niya kami kino-constrict. Gusto niya kaming maging best versions ng self namin,” he ended.

The much-awaited UAAP Season 80 Cheerdance Competition will happen on tomorrow, Dec. 2, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

by Gillian Patricia Geronimo

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Basketball

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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Basketball

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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Volleyball

UST goes back to undefeated ways in juniors’ beach volleyball tourney

The UAAP season 82 juniors’ beach volleyball tournament is set to conclude next Saturday, Feb. 15, at the same venue.

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Veronica Besario/TomasinoWeb

The UST Junior Tiger Spikers and Junior Tigresses managed to sweep their way through once again in day four of the UAAP season 82 juniors’ beach volleyball tournament at the SM Sands by the Bay in Pasay on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.

Alex Iraya and Jay Dela Noche won their lone match of the day with a 21-14, 21-14 sweep over the UE Junior Red Warriors, bringing their record to a clean 6-0 four days into the tournament.

For the Junior Tigresses, Vanessa Bangayan and Julianna Carreon bounced back from last Saturday’s loss to the UE Junior Red Warriors with back-to-back sweeps against the FEU Baby Tamaraws and the Adamson Baby Falcons, with final scores of 21-17, 21-17 and 21-18, 21-10, respectively.

The UAAP season 82 juniors’ beach volleyball tournament is set to conclude next Saturday, Feb. 15, at the same venue.

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