Big man John Cansino and newcomer Kobe Palencia made their presence felt at the start of the third period as the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs got off to a rousing start with a 97-62 bashing of the University of the Philippines Integrated School Junior Maroons.
The 6’1 Cansino, who struck with 28 points and 11 rebounds, led a decisive 13-4 run in the start of the first half, lifting UST to its first win with three others at the Arena in San Juan.
Scoring 11 points in the third canto, Casino unloaded 10 of it in the last seven minutes, and from there, UST had little trouble taking the opening day lead with three others at the start of the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines Junior Basketball Tournament.
“Nakuha ng mga bata ang kumpiyansa nila. Although, nung first and second quarter, nara-rattle pa,” said UST coach Christopher Cantonjos, who is in his second year in handling the team.
The Tigers had a five-point lead, 36-31, at halftime.
Four charity shots and a triple from Cansino allowed UST to move away for good, 43-33, with 7:27 left left.
Palencia, a Palarong Pambansa standout from Ormoc, was among eight newcomers who debuted, and he made 23 points that afternoon and had his turn to help get the lead bigger.
Palencia’s three-point and another from Batang Gilang standout Bismarck Lina found their mark with 6:17 to go, and UST moved further away, 69-35.
“Sinabi ni coach, lead the team sa teamwork. Yun ang outcome,” said Palencia, an 11th grader.
The Junior Maroons, coached by Paolo Mendoza, got 15 points from Matt Santiago.
Earlier, defending champion Far Eastern University, Ateneo and National University also picked up their first wins that afternoon.
The Baby Tams, who were in control for three quarters, held their ground as La Salle Zobel rallied in the fourth, and they got off with a 71-67 win.
LJ Gonzales showed the way for the Baby Tams with 16 points while RJ Abarrientos had 11.
Ateneo, with 7'1" center Kai Sotto firing a game-high 24 points, came off with an 82-64 smothering of the Adamson Baby Falcons.
Teammate SJ Belangel had 22 points while Dave Ildefonso added 17 for Ateneo.
Nazareth School of National University demolished the University of the East Junior Warriors, 107-69, and this gave new coach Goldwin Monteverde, who came from Adamson last season.
Matthew Manalang hit 20 points to lead the Bullpups while Rhyyan Amsalo added 12.
NU (107): Manalang 20, Amsali 12, Fortea 11, Javillonar 10, Gonzales 10, Oczon 8, Puray 8, Pangilinan 7, Malonzo 6, Coyoca 4, Felisida 4, Dayrit 4, Pradella 2, Minerva 1, Vinoya 0
UE (69): Miranda 21, Encelan 12, Dichoso 11, Tajonera 9, Villarta 8, Policarpio 6, Almacen 2, Lopez 0, Santos 0, Varon 0
ADMU (82) -- Sotto 24, Belangel 22, Ildefonso 17, David 8, Manuel 5, Credo 4, Chiu 2, Angeles 0, Escalona 0, Diaz 0, Jaymalin 0, Gusi 0, Ong 0, Lopa 0, Tanedo 0.
AdU (64) -- Sabandal 21, Hanapi 15, Doria Ad 8, Doria An 6, Manlapaz 6, Prodigo 3, Santos 3, Perez 2, Engbino 0, Baculio 0, Canoy 0, Sevilla 0, Santos 0, Padilla 0.
FEU 71 Gonzales 16, Abarrientos 11, Torres 10, Tolentico 8, Sajonia 8, Alforque 6, Ona 6, Celso 4, Boc 2, Barasi 0, Bautista 0, Mariano 0, Libago 0
La Salle 67 Calimag 17, Consejo 15, Cortez 14, Barcuma 8, Carlos 5, Damis 2, Favis 2, Udal 2, Pascual 2, Terrado 0, Vesagas 0, Santos 0, Chavez 0, Buncayo 0
UST (97): Cansino 28, Palencia 23, Baquial 10, Anunciacion 8, Lina 5, Esplana 4, Narvasa 4, Estrella 4, Dela Cruz 4, Co 3, Relucio 2, Villapando 2.
UPIS (62): Santiago 15, Labao 12, Gregorio 11, Labao 10, Tupaz 9, Vergeire 3, Villa-Real 2.
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