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UAAP75onTW: ’06 dream remains history; Ateneo claims 5-peat

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     RELIVING ’06 will remain a dream for the UST Growling Tigers. The Ateneo Blue Eagles swept the UAAP season 75 finals best-of-three championship series and defended their title from the Tigers after clinching them from a three-point deficit loss, 65-62, in game two of the Finals at the jam-packed Smart-Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

     The Tigers tried to bounce back in a 78-83 game one loss as Tiger captain Jeric Fortuna carried the bulk on his own, being the only one with double figures in points, grabbing a season-high of 20 markers and hauling 8 boards. Backing him up was Teng with 9 points, while Abdul and Lo helped with both 8.

     Last game’s scoring leader Aljon Mariano failed to get his rhythm as he only scored 4 points in the match, far from his 22 output from game one.

     It has been a tight ball game for both teams battling in the first three quarters, keeping the scores close and not giving either team the chance to get a double digit lead, which ended as a tie 29-29 come by the end of the first half.

     However, come the three minute mark in the fourth quarter, UST’s composure started to crumble as they continuously missed crucial baskets, which paved way for Ateneo to establish a 4 point cushion in the final minutes.

     Nevertheless, the Tigers slowly inched closer to the Eagles after cutting the lead into just two points within the two minute mark in the final quarter, 60-58. Unfortunately, in an attempt to drive the ball, Karim Abdul accidentally slipped and was called for a travelling violation. With that turnover, Blue Eagles Juami Tiongson made a buzzer beater basket, extending their lead to 62-58 with 1:12 remaining.

     With a great defense showed by the Blue Eagles, the Tigers are again forced with another turnover from an inbound situation. With 30 seconds remaining, Kiefer Ravena sizzled the crucial basket and gave them a 6-point stretch.

     Even though Fortuna drained a clutch trey in the corner, closing in with just three points at 65-62, time was not on their side. It was their turnovers that became a big factor which eventually led to the loss of the team.

     Even as the Tigers lost against Ateneo, Coach Jarencio ended the season with a positive note for his boys and the whole Thomasian community.

     “Nothing to be ashamed of, you gave it your all…learn from this mistake,” said Coach Pido as his final words to his boys for the season.

     Ateneo Blue Eagles claimed its fifth consecutive champion year under head coach Norman Black, who is now headed to the Talk N’ Text in PBA.

Goodbye Jeric and Melo
     UST will lose Fortuna and Melo Afuang, who already accumulated their five-playing years in the league. Both players have left great legacies to the next breed of Tigers. Definitely both players will be remembered in years to come as great basketball players in the history of UST.

     Jeric said that he will be entering the D-league, particularly in the Blackwater team. He hopes that opportunities will open for him as he levels up in his basketball career.

     “I will miss the time and enjoyment kasama ang team, mabilis lang [kasi] ang limang taon,” Jeric said. Jeric will continue his basketball career after he graduates, however, life becomes a different story for Melo.

     “Maghahanap [ako] ng trabaho or magtatapos sa graduate school. Kailangan ko ng working experience, pero kapag di natupad, balik basketball siguro ako,” Melo said.

Tigers’ Scores: Fortuna 20, Teng 9, Lo 8, Abdul 8, Ferrer 7, Bautista 6, Mariano 4, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Afuang 0
Eagles’ Scores: Ravena 22, Slaughter 15, Tiongson 10, Salva 8, Chua 6, Gonzaga 3, Sumalinog 1, Golla 0, Elorde 0, Buenafe 0
Quarter scores: 14-13, 29-29, 46-47, 62-65

By Josiah Darren G. Saynes and Karl Cedrick G. Basco
Photo taken by Jenzine Inah M. Alcantara

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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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