Tigers take on Maroons; Falcons target first victoryBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FRESH from a big win, University of Santo Tomas is brimming with confidence when it tackles University of the Philippines in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament today.
The Tigers, who shocked four-time champion Ateneo just two days ago, expect more players stepping up in their bid for a second straight victory in the 4 p.m. game against the Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena.
“This time, we have a lot of players we can rely on,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio. “It’s all about our mindset. Our win [against Ateneo] was morale-boosting and everyone is confident going against UP.”
Adamson and University of the East earlier shoot for their first victory when they collide at 2 p.m.
Jarencio said there’s more to the game of Aljon Mariano, the comebacking forward who made a strong impression in the Tigers’ 71-70 upset of the Blue Eagles last Thursday.
“He has more to show, but he just needs to be consistent,” said Jarencio.
Mariano, who sat out last year due to a fractured right ankle, delivered 21 points and 13 rebounds in the thrilling triumph where the Tigers rallied from 19 points down.
“I was out for a long time, so I really wanted to make an impact,” said the 6-foot-3 Mariano.
Jeric Teng (16 points), Cameroonian Karim Abdul (14 points) and Jeric Fortuna (11 points) also shone in the victory that snapped the Tigers’ 12-game losing skid against the Eagles since 2007.
The Tigers, though, have to deal with a tough UP side that narrowly lost to La Salle, 73-68, on opening day.
Mike Silungan paced the Maroons with 18 points, while point guard Henry Asilum also emerged as a rookie revelation by chipping in 12 markers
Just like the Maroons, the Falcons gun for their first win behind Alex Nuyles, Eric Camson and Rodney Brondial after absorbing a 73-57 loss to Ateneo in the opener.
The Warriors, who had been relying on guard Roi Sumang, also hope to rebound from back-to-back losses to National University (90-55) and La Salle (67-59).