Cabañero’s career high steers UST past Soaring Falcons
By Anton Villegas
The UST Growling Tigers started the season with a stunning victory led by sophomore guard Nic Cabañero’s career-high of 33 points, 69–60, in their opening game of UAAP Season 85 held Saturday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Cabañero, the only Tiger to reach double digits in this game, scored eight points in the fourth period as he brought out the dagger, being able to make a mid-range jumper to extend the UST lead to five with 41.6 seconds, 65–60.
This was also the coaching debut game in collegiate play of Bal “The Flash” David who came home to his alma mater, aiming to bring back the crown toEspaña.
Meanwhile, Jerom Lastimosa just finished the game with an underwhelming 10 points and four dimes which downplayed the performance of Adamson.
The game started out scrappy for both teams as it opened with a 3–2 scoreline in the first two minutes. Falcon shooting guard Joshua Yerro started up the game sinking a bucket from downtown but big man Christian Manaytay answered with a bucket of his own.
It was not a great start for the Growling Tigers as the Falcons sank three long balls in the quarter.Although UST answered back as Cabañero took over the quarter when the Falcons were aiming for a run.
Migs Pangilinan also stepped up and got those 50–50 balls, he was rewarded with four points during his stint in the dying minutes of the quarter, 23–18.
Starting the second period, foreign-student Lenda Douanga gave the Falcons two straight points in the paint to give Adamson a boost and cut the lead to one. UST’s foreign-student athlete Adama Faye answered with his own fourpoint run for UST to stay in the lead, 30–26.
Joshua Yerro came in hot in the half as he finished with 11 points at the end of the second period, two of those coming from downtown.
The third quarter was lowly for both teams as they only scored 12 points in the period with 14 turnovers combined, 48–44.
Kenji Duremdes, son of PBA legend Kenneth Duremdes, scored his first points in the UAAP to open the final salvo with two free throws. He played heavy minutes at the start of the 4th showing off his solid defense.
JM Sabandal committed a crucial turnover in the last minute of the ballgame as he stepped on the sideline,forcing the Soaring Falcons to play the foul game which gave the Tigers their first win, 69–60.
The Growling Tigers look to continue their winning momentum as they face the De La Salle Green Archers on Wednesday, October 5, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.