Out of the ruins of a nuked program, College of Santo Tomas (UST) emerged with a group hardly recognizable from the one which flaunted a expertise depth and breathtaking system on the best way to a UAAP finals look.
And after a gap day loss the place they trailed by as many as 29 factors and regarded out of their league, these new Tigers are beginning to make a correct introduction.
Joshua Fontanilla delivered the clutch pictures as UST summoned sufficient endgame savvy from its younger squad to hold off Adamson, 79-72, in Season 84 males’s basketball match Saturday at Mall of Asia Area.
Fontanilla scored 5 straight factors, together with a vital three-pointer that gave the Growling Tigers a 77-70 lead with 19.3 seconds to go en path to their second consecutive victory to enhance to 2-2, tying Nationwide College at fourth place.
Bulldogs win“I needed to assist my group as a result of I did not make my presence felt within the first three quarters,” mentioned the transferee guard from St. Clare, who tallied 10 factors, 4 rebounds and three assists.
NU had earlier scored its second win after a 73-68 victory over Far Eastern U, with the Bulldogs hosing down a 33-point effort by Tamaraws rookie RJ Abarrientos.
UST’s personal rookie, Paul Manalang, produced 15 factors on 5-of-7 capturing from past the arc, including 5 assists and three rebounds because the younger Tigers are slowly feeling their approach into relevance following the lack of their core.
An ill-advised training camp in Sorsogon throughout a government-imposed lockdown on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic tore aside UST’s key standouts, with skipper CJ Cansino bolting to College of the Philippines, Mark Nonoy becoming a member of La Salle and Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso transferring to Letran within the NCAA.
That pressured UST, which completed second to Ateneo in 2019, right into a rebuild round guys like Fontanilla, Manalang, Bryan Santos (9 factors, eight rebounds towards Adamson) and Nic Cabanero (eight factors, two steals). It additionally left coach Jinino Manansala, who took over from the suspended Aldin Ayo, pleading for persistence as he tries to reassemble his predecessor’s “Mayhem,” an anarchy-by-design system that usually left foes dazed and gasping.
Maroons, Eagles triumph
“These younger gamers confirmed that they’ll ship down the stretch and end the sport,” mentioned Manansala, whose wards truly led towards UP earlier than dropping steam within the second half. “In addition they reduce our turnovers in comparison with our earlier video games.”
Sherwin Concepcion, one of many earlier group’s holdovers who scored 25 factors prior to now two video games, was restricted to only seven factors, capturing 1-of-8 from deep. However his teammates waxed sizzling past the arc, nailing 14 three-pointers within the recreation.
Within the different recreation, UP banked on its blazing begin and displayed its composure down the stretch in an 81-66 rout of University of the East.
Zavier Lucero led the Maroons with 14 factors, together with a lay-up within the 3:46 mark of the third quarter for a 65-35 lead. He additionally collected six rebounds, one help and a block.
The spotlight particular person efficiency of the day, nonetheless, belonged to Abarrientos. Too unhealthy it got here in a loss.
The rookie guard drilled eight three pointers, tying essentially the most factors scored by a Tamaraw since Terence Romeo’s 33 in Season 76 9 years in the past.
“We’re so annoyed. Our group is so down after what occurred. We’re struggling and it’s arduous to lose three straight video games,” mentioned Abarrientos after the loss.
Abarrientos was shut down by NU’s airtight defense within the fourth quarter, the place he solely scored three factors and his group solely scored one area objective within the final 5 minutes of the sport.
“Clearly, they tightened their protection on me. It was an enormous problem for me and the group. NU has a deeper bench that made us battle within the final quarter. We had a variety of struggles and errors,” he mentioned.
John Lloyd Clemente and Mike Malonzo starred for NU, with the latter delivering 5 straight factors because the Bulldogs turned a four-point deficit right into a 71-66 lead with 38 seconds left within the recreation.
In a late recreation, Ateneo routed La Salle, 74-57, to stay unbeaten at 4-0 (win-loss)—With a report from Lance Agcaoili
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