Tiger Cubs coach on Fornilos' loss: Hindi lang isa naglalaro sa court
After the departure of star Inand Fornilos and point guard CJ Balingit, the UST Tiger Cubs proved they can do well without them with a 97-62 thrashing of the UPIS Junior Fighting Maroons. (FILE PHOTO)
UST Tiger Cubs head coach Chris Cantonjos is confident that his team can bounce back in a big way this season, even with the departure of star center Inand Fornilos and point guard CJ Balingit.
Fornilos, jumped ship to the NCAA and is playing in the Finals with La Salle - Greenhills. Balingit, was deemed ineligible due to age. Both were missed badly in the first quarter of their opening day match against UPIS at the Filoil Flying V Centre Saturday.
"Yung una pa naman sa Filoil [tournament], noong nawala si Fornilos, sabi ko nga, 'Isang tao lang naman yun eh. Hindi lang naman isang tao ang naglalaro sa loob [ng court]. Five players 'yun." Medyo nawala tayo ng rebounds, may pupuno at pupuno naman niyan," Cantonjos said on Fornilos' departure after the game.
Batang Gilas skipper Bismarck Lina was more than capable of replacing Fornilos' steady presence inside with an eight-point, 18 rebound game, much to the delight of the former UAAP MVP. The team overall rebounded the ball 64 times, to UPIS' 44.
After a close first half which saw UST come out with a five-point lead at the halftime break, 36-31, UST throttled on the defensive end and came up with 10 steals that were converted to 16 points.
"Binigyan ko sila ng task, sabi ko sa kanila, bigs, like Lina, umabot ng almost 20 rebounds, and napunan naman niya yun. Si Lina at [Cyril] Narvasa, is yung pinaka-senior, kailangan talagang mag-step up sa loob ng court."