UAAP: UST looks for strong finish despite failed Final Four run
MANILA, Philippines — Despite being the first team to be eliminated in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball, University of Santo Tomas vows to finish strong in its last three games.
The Growling Tigers absorbed their 10th loss in 11 games after their gallant stand was denied by the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 67-59, on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Coach Pido said in the dugout that he wants to see the players give it all and their best in the last three games, for the community, which continues to support us. [We have to] make a good fight,” said UST assistant coach Japs Cuan, speaking for Pido Jarencio.
Cuan said it has to be a collective effort for the Tigers to earn wins with Nic Cabañero, Christian Manaytay, and Migs Pangilinan already carrying the bulk of of the team.
“It’s been hard. We’re really pushing the guys. You can see how tired they our. In our rotations, you can see how coach is looking for a player to help out. We really need consistency from our players For us to win, everyone really has to contribute,” the former UST player said.
“Nic he’s really trying his best. We’re really trying to think outside the box but still, it’s not materializing. But whatever Nic has been doing, I hope he sustains it in the last three games. I can see how Nic has no legs anymore. He’s really tired, he’s averaging more than 30 minutes now,” he added.
Jarencio and his coaching staff still credited the Tigers for putting up a gallant stand against the defending champions, Blue Eagles, hoping that they would get some wins to finish the season.
“I think I have to give credit to the boys. They made a good run. Unfortunately, we can’t sustain it in the end. But, I’m proud of the boys,” Cuan said. “I think the most encouraging part is in spite of being a [small] team. The players are trying to fill in the gap, it’s just frustrating that you can see the efforts of the players and we just couldn’t get the win.”
UST battles Final Four-bound National University on Saturday at the Big Dome before wrapping up Jarencio’s first UAAP season in 10 years against University of the Philippines on Wednesday at MOA Arena and Far Eastern University, which the Tigers beat in the first round, on November 18 also at Araneta.
UST assistant coach Japs Cuan after the Growling Tigers were eliminated from the Final Four race. #UAAPSeason86
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, November 7, 2023