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Tigers outlast Lions, clinches PCCL finals slot

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     THE University of Santo Tomas clinched a finals berth in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), beating the NCAA Champions, San Beda Red Lions, 63-60, in a hotly-contested Final Four match-up at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan yesterday.

     Aljon Mariano led the Growling Tigers with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Cameroonian center Karim Abdul and guard Jeric Teng scored 12 points apiece. Kyle Pascual paced the Red Lions with 18 points.

     With the win, UST now has victories over the UAAP and NCAA champions in the Final Four, after handily beating the Blue Eagles, 76-66, last Wednesday.

     “Gusto talaga manalo ng mga bata, lumabas yung ‘killer instinct’ at desire to win,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.

     Known for their slow starts and strong finishes in their runner-up campaign in UAAP season 75, the Tigers had to come back again from a double-digit deficit in the first half. San Beda raced to a 30-17 advantage in the second quarter behind the exploits of Kyle Pascual and key bench player Arthur de la Cruz. UST responded with a 18-9 run to trim the Red Lions’ lead to just 4, 35-39 at halftime.

     “Ganun na siguro ang ugali ng team, gusto nila yung pinapahirapan pa,” Jarencio jokingly added.

     Mariano started to take over in the second-half as he pounded San Beda’s frontcourt with his patented footwork and short stabs, helping UST get its first lead at 45-43, via a three-point play. The Tigers surged ahead of San Beda, 53-48, after three quarters.

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     The duo of Abdul and Teng helped the España-based squad put on the finishing touches, to offset San Beda’s tough stand in the final quarter as they secured a spot in the finals on Tuesday. Ateneo and San Beda will have a face-off on Sunday to know who will face UST.

Tigers’ Scores: Mariano 16, Abdul 12, Teng 12, Ferrer 8, Daquioag 5, Afuang 4, Fortuna 4, Bautista 2, Pe 0, Lo 0
Lions’ Scores: Pascual (K) 18, Dela Cruz 10, Koga 10, Mendoza 6, Caram 5, Pascual (E) 4, Amer 4, Dela Rosa 3, Ludovice 0
Quarter Scores: 15-25, 35-39, 53-48, 63-60

By Nicolo Paolo A. Pascual
Photo taken by Matthew David P. Dulay

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UST takes another loss as Bismarck Lina completes UP transfer

Five days after reports of exploratory talks originally surfaced, former UST Tiger Cubs star Bismarck Lina is now on his way to play for the UP Fighting Maroons.

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Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

Five days after reports of exploratory talks originally surfaced, former UST Tiger Cubs star Bismarck Lina is now on his way to play for the UP Fighting Maroons.

First reported by multiple publications Monday afternoon, the move was made official through a photo posted of Lina with UP coach Bo Perasol.

(H/T: @spinph)

The 19-year-old also confirmed the news on his Twitter account, with the simple statement “new chapter”.

Lina is set to be reunited with former Growling Tigers captain CJ Cansino who was the first to leave the team in light of the Sorsogon Bubble fiasco. 

The former Tiger Cub originally committed to the seniors’ squad last February and was set to originally debut in the collegiate scene during UAAP season 83. 

However, with his transfer, Lina is now set to play for the Maroons in UAAP season 84 due to his status as a late enrollee. He and Cansino are set to debut in the same season. 

The 6-foot-5 bruiser and cousin of former King Tiger Kevin Ferrer was a force in his final year with the Tiger Cubs, posting norms of 16.6 points, 10.9 points, and 2.1 assists despite only appearing in the second half of the season. He was also a part of the Mythical Five way back during UAAP season 81.

Lina is now the eighth player to leave the Tigers following future teammate Cansino, the now-Letran Knights trio of Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso, third-stringer turned Mapua Cardinal Jun Asuncion and the now-De LaSalle Green Archers duo of Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao.  

 

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Nonoy, Cuajao break silence, bid UST goodbye

Amidst the conflicting reports on their departure, Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao have confirmed that they have left the University through farewell messages posted on Monday morning. 

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Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

Amidst the conflicting reports on their departure, Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao have confirmed that they have left the University through farewell messages posted on Monday morning. 

While the two did not confirm their next destination, multiple publications have already reported that they will be headed to the De LaSalle University Green Archers under coach Derrick Pumaren. 

Nonoy bid the University farewell through an Instagram post on Monday.

“Unang-una po sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako ng buong puso sa buong UST community, na binigyan nyo po ako ng opportunity na ipakita po kung anong galing meron ako and I’m very thankful sa lahat ng coaching staff lalong-lalo na po sa kay coach Aldin Ayo na nagtiwalang kumuha sakin mula sa province to Manila at nagbigay sakin ng kumpiyansa pag dating sa court at sa pag guide nya sa akin kahit off the court upang maging mabuting tao,” Nonoy’s post stated. 

“Sa buong UST community na walang katulad sa pagcheer nyo po sa amin na nagbibigay lakas at inspirasyon sa akin sa bawat laro hinding-hindi ko po kayo malilimutan. Napakabigat man para sa loob ko, kinakailangan ko ng katiyakan sa aking career para makapagfocus ulit sa basketball,” the former Tiger Cub standout added. 

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Dear UST,
Unang-una po sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako ng buong puso sa buong UST community, na binigyan nyo po ako ng opportunity na ipakita po kung anong galing meron ako and I'm very thankful sa lahat ng coaching staff lalong-lalo na po sa kay coach Aldin Ayo na nagtiwalang kumuha sakin mula sa province to manila at nagbigay sakin ng kumpiyansa pag dating sa court at sa pag guide nya sa akin kahit off the court upang maging mabuting tao. Habambuhy ko tatanawin ang utang na loob ko po sa kanya kasi kung hndi dahil sa kanya wala po ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng coaches at managers po lalo na kay boss Jimmy Lim ng Ironcon na laging nandyan to support us every game at nagbibigay ng lahat ng kailangan namin. Sa buong ust community na walang katulad sa pagcheer nyo po sa amin na nagbibigay lakas at inspirasyon sa akin sa bawat laro hinding-hindi ko po kayo malilimutan. Napakabigat man para sa loob ko, kinakailangan ko ng katiyakan sa aking career para makapagfocus ulit sa basketball. Dahil ilang weeks na akong binabagabag ng kung ano ang kahihinatnan ng atin team. Ano man natutunan ko sa UST dadalhin ko yan habambuhay saan man ako mapunta. Akin po munang kokonsultahin ang aking pamilya para sa mga susunod na hakbang na aming gagawin. Maramin salamat UST! THE BEST KA! GO USTE GO GO GO USTE 😭🐯🖤💛🖤🤍

A post shared by Marknonoy (@m_nonoy6) on

 

Cuajao also shared the same sentiments as Nonoy, wherein he stated that his basketball career was a driving force in his departure from the University. 

“Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanila at minolde nila ang aking pagkatao.  Hanggang sa huli, umaasa akong magkakaron ng linaw at maayus na patutunguhan ang team despite sa lahat ng pinagdaraanan namin.  Ngunit hanggang ngayon walang tiyak na na direksyon. Mabigat man ang loob ko, kinakailangan ko na talaga mag disisyon at maghanap ng katiyakan para sa career ko dahil dito ko binubuo ang pangarap ko para sa pamilya ko,” Cuajao expressed in a lengthy Facebook post. 

Una sa lahat gusto ko pong magpasalamat sa buong UST community, sa buong coaching staff at managers and most specially…

Deo Cuajaoさんの投稿 2020年9月13日日曜日

In their lone senior seasons for the University, Nonoy averaged 10 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while Cuajao only totaled 13 points in his debut season for the Tigers. 

With their departure, Nonoy and Cuajao are now the latest names in the Growling Tigers’ mass exodus, following suit with teammates in now Fighting Maroon CJ Cansino, the Letran Knights trio of Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso, and third stringer Jun Asuncion who is now in Mapua. 

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Nonoy, Cuajao still undecided on transfer, says agent

Amidst the duo’s alleged move to De LaSalle University, Team Phenom Sports president Jax Chua, who manages Nonoy and Cuajao said that they are still waiting on the University’s endorsement on former head coach Aldin Ayo’s appeal against his indefinite ban. 

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Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

Despite multiple reports earlier today, the guard tandem of Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao are still undecided on whether or not they will be leaving the University, their agent said Sunday.

Amidst the duo’s alleged move to De LaSalle University, Team Phenom Sports president Jax Chua, who manages Nonoy and Cuajao said that they are still waiting on the University’s endorsement on former head coach Aldin Ayo’s appeal against his indefinite ban. 

The two-time mentor was sanctioned by the UAAP with an indefinite ban due to the Tigers’ Sorsogon training bubble held last June to mid-August.

Ayo released a statement regarding his indefinite ban last Friday, calling it inappropriate, and that he will be seeking a reconsideration against it.

“Mark and Deo are loyal to Coach Aldin. Si Mark, high school pa lang, si Coach Aldin na kumuha para sa UST High School tapos si Deo naman two weeks before the season last year kinuha ni coach pero ni-lineup pa rin,” Chua said in a statement released Sunday. 

Elsewhere in the statement, Chua also added the two’s preference to stay with the Tigers and be under Ayo’s mentorship once more.

“Hirap sila because of their loyalty to Coach Aldin talaga at gusto talaga nila mag-stay sa UST. But at the same time, time is running out since enrollment for the first semester in all schools is coming to a close,” Chua added.

A report from Rappler Sports’ Naveen Ganglani corroborates Chua’s statement as well.

While the two are still yet to move out of the University, Ganglani states that the duo have considered three schools for their final move, which are De LaSalle, San Beda and UST. According to Ganglani, LaSalle has emerged as the favorite to land the duo. 

If their move is made official, Nonoy and Cuajao will be the latest names in the Tigers’ mass exodus, following the departures of teammates in former team captain turned UP Maroon CJ Cansino, now-Letran Knights Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso, and former third-string forward Jun Asuncion who joined the Mapua Cardinals.

Mark Nonoy is the reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year in which his debut season for the seniors saw him post averages of 10 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists as UST made its way to the UAAP finals. Cuajao however saw limited minutes in his first season with the Tigers. 

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