In a battle between two teams trying to get their rhythm in Season 81, the UST Growling Tigers got the better of the UE Red Warriors with an 80-66 win on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Renzo Subido found his mark with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, while rookie CJ Cansino came away with 17 points and was a workhorse on the glass with 17 rebounds. UST improves to a 2-4 slate with the win.
"We're happy because we really prepared for this. We were so down the last two games, we didn't how we could recover. We had good practices but we couldn't get the wins. This time, we got it," Cansino said in Filipino.
The Tigers came into the ball game on a three-game losing streak with their last two defeats in the form of blowouts at the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles and De La Salle Green Archers. Versus the Red Warriors, they quickly found their stride. They used a 16-6 second period and led by as many as 21 points in the second half.
UE, which was coming off an upset win over the FEU Tamaraws, had its old problems haunt them. Alvin Pasaol led all scorers with 32 points on 9-for-21 shooting but no other player reached double-figures for UE. Jason Varilla had nine points on 29 percent shooting while Philip Manalang only produced eight points on 22 percent shooting.
The Red Warriors' woes of finding production from across the board and getting a collective effort on offense unfortunately cost them another loss. They are now 1-5 in the standings for eighth place.
"With Alvin Pasaol, we had a game plan but we didn't quite execute it because we only had one day of practice," explained Cansino. "Good thing we executed on the other players."
Cansino, last year's Juniors MVP with the Tiger Cubs, has been nothing short of sensational in his rookie year. He has shown veteran prowess despite his young age and looks ready to be a reliable scorer for UST.
"Coach gives us a lot of confidence when it comes to the game. He told us we shouldn't lose confidence. He gives us that confidence," Cansino said about his game.
UST 80 - Subido 22, Cansino 17, Lee 9, Huang 9, Marcos 6, Zamora 6, Mahinay 5, Caunan 4, Bataller 2, Cosejo 0, Agustin 0, Lagumen 0
UE 66 - Pasaol 32, Varilla 9, Manalang 8, Bartolome 4, Acuno 3, Conner 2, Beltran 2, Maloles 2, Lacap 2, Gallardo 2, Cullar 0, Antiporda 0, Gagate 0
QUARTER SCORES: 23-17, 39-23, 60-43, 80-66
The Tigers finally hit their stride from three-point land. They knocked down 16 triples after making just 12 in their last two games. The 16 makes also tied the most number of 3-pointers since UP accomplished the feat last year.
Alvin Pasaol had his second 30-point game this season. He is currently the only player in the league with a 30-point output in Season 81.
UST - October 10 (Wed) vs UP Fighting Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena
UE - October 13 (Sat) vs NU Bulldogs at Mall of Asia Arena