UST Growling Tigers def. UE Red Warriors 79-68

NOTABLE PLAYERS

CJ Cansino, UST (20 points, 5/8 FG, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) 

The rook is legit. We will talk about the triple double endlessly, but the beauty with how Cansino has operated is how efficient he’s been. Granted, his creation in the halfcourt still needs work, but what’s great about him is he doesn’t force himself to create. A+ IQ. A+ athleticism. A+ physical tools. A+ basketball player. Save him a slot in the Mythical Five. He deserves one.

Marvin Lee, UST (30 points, 8/18 3FG)

Ever since Lee has embraced being primarily a 2 guard, it’s done wonders for him and his team. He’s just a natural off ball option. Granted, he’ll have the rock in his hands more with Renzo Subido out, so that’s a challenge to watch out for. Either way, that first half was a delight to watch.

Alvin Pasaol, UE (26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals)

*sighs* We’re really running out of things to say. Elite effort. Elite skill. Elite IQ. Just lacks polished teammates. Air Sambo can’t do everything on his own.

QUICK ANALYSIS

  • A loss versus UE would have been unacceptable, especially as the Growling Tigers aim for a slot in the Final Four. They NEEDED this victory. Fans must be glad to know they managed to pull it out.
  • Granted, it didn’t come easy for them. UE actually started the contest out strong, grabbing the lead against UST thanks to a scalding Philip Manalang. But that’s the problem, after Manalang and Pasaol, where do the Red Warriors go? As UST’s defense adjusted and kept the two in check, points came in tough for UE.
  • Facing competition like Adamson, Ateneo, UP and La Salle will be different beasts for UST.  Those four not only have the talent and pedigree a young UE team doesn’t but they also have some form of postseason experience. They have those four next, arguably having the bloodiest schedule among the Final Four bubble teams.
  • Something to watch out for incoming games: UST’s turnover woes. They had a whopping 21 turnovers, where UE scored 15 off those. To make it to the Final Four, you need to limit your turnovers.
  • UE’s officially out of Final Four contention. Let’s just hope Adama Diakhite and the other recruits are enough of game-changers to give Alvin and Philip the consistent help they’ve been badly needing.