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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.

     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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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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