• Growling Tigers, Fighting Maroons post wins in UAAP opener

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    Nick Abanto of UE battles for the ball against JR Gallanza of UP during the opening day of UAAP Season 78 at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    Nick Abanto of UE battles for the ball against JR Gallanza of UP during the opening day of UAAP Season 78 at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    The more experienced University of Santo Tomas (UST) outplayed Adamson University, 70-64, on Saturday in the opening day of University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

    Veteran players Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer provided the necessary firepower to give the Growling Tigers their first victory in the 78th edition of the meet.

    “I’m really glad my veteran players have stepped up today,” said UST coach Bong Dela Cruz. “They were never intimidated by Adamson’s physical plays.”

    Daquioag scored 28 points via 12-of-25 shooting in the field plus three steals. Ferrer finished with 24 points on top of eight rebounds and four assists. Louie Vigil finished with nine points and seven rebounds also for UST.

    The Growling Tigers’ defense was provided by 6’6 Cameroonian Karim Abdul who posted seven points, four blocks and seven rebounds.

    Joseph Nalos and Dawn Ochea led Adamson with 18 points and 12 points respectively.

    In the first game, host University of the Philippines (UP) won 62-55 over the University of the East (UE) through the three-point shooting prowess of Christopher Vito.

    “I’ve told them to keep their defense and limit their opponent below 60-point which they did. I want them to embrace the never-say-die attitude. I’m really happy that we finally win our opening game which is a good sign,” said new UP head coach Rensy Bajar.

    The last time the Fighting Maroons won an opening game was in 2011—also against the Red Warriors.

    Vito scored 3-of-3 in three-point zone for 11 points to lead UP while forward Christian Moralde had eight points. Andres Desiderio and Jose Manuel combined for 14 points also for the Fighting Maroons.

    “It is really good that I got my shooting touch today,” said Vito. “Our coach is encouraging us to shoot if we’re open.”

    UP will meet De La Salle University on Wednesday for its second game.

    Edison Batiller posted 17 points plus six rebounds and five steals while Chris Javier added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Warriors.

    In today’s games at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, De La Salle University battles defending champion National University at 12 p.m. while Far Eastern University and Ateneo De Manila University will clash at 4 p.m.

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