UST's hope in UAAP 82? Captain CJ's return to form, Tigers' return to playoffs

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 29, 2019 07:31 PM
UST's hope? CJ's return to form, Tigers' return to playoffs
UST's hope to return to the Final Four for the first time in four years rests on the shoulders of young leader CJ Cansino

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 5-9, sixth

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Dave Ando, Enric Caunan, CJ Cansino, Zach Huang, Renzo Subido

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Rhenz Abando, Soulemane Chabi Yo, Sherwin Concepcion, Deo Cuajao, Mark Nonoy, Brent Paraiso

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Toby Agustin, Marvin Lee, Germy Mahinay, Majoy Marcos, Ken Zamora

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM UST?

Aldin Ayo’s second season in UST will yet again have a bumper crop of prized prospects.

With all of versatile Rhenz Abando, sweet-shooting Sherwin Concepcion, fearless playmaker Mark Nonoy, two-way player Brent Paraiso, and athletic Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo all set to debut, the Growling Tigers are ready and raring to roar once more.

Still, they will only go as far as team captain CJ Cansino takes them.

Nine months removed from an ACL injury, the do-it-all swingman is nothing but upbeat that he is now back to full strength – or at the very least, near it.

The good news is that with that recruitment haul, as well as hungry last go-rounds for Zach Huang and Renzo Subido, there is no need to force Cansino to do too much.

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM UST?

As it turned out, Nonoy was poised and primed to be Espana’s next great point guard from the very first time he put on the black and gold jersey.

Showcasing all the skills necessary from a playmaker, the pride of Negros Occidental was so good in his one-and-done year as a Tiger Cub that Kai Sotto even called him “the best player in high school.”

While Nonoy is already a known quantity, just about everybody will be in for a surprise when they finally get to watch Abando in action. The long-limbed forward is the classic 3-and-D guy who will actually have games wherein he is the star among stars.

And don’t forget about Chabi Yo – the Beninese fighter jet who will lean on his speed and skill to outplay his bigger and bulkier counterparts.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR UST?

The very first proof of coach Aldin’s coaching capabilities was how he made the most out of what he had in underdog Letran.

The fiery mentor just thrives on being an underdog and what he’s got going in UST is very much like what he had with the Knights whom he led to a Cinderella run to the championship.

And with all of his players, from top gun Cansino to breakout candidate Abando and from super rookie Nonoy to seasoned veteran Subido, having already bought in to his philosophy, coach Aldin has all he needs to shock the world anew.

WHERE WOULD UST BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82?

Better believe it, UST will be fighting and clawing for a place in the Final Four.

It’s a long shot for the Growling Tigers to actually push aside the other playoff hopefuls, but if there’s a captain to lead and a coach to guide a team there, that can only be captain CJ and coach Aldin, respectively.

WHEN IS UST’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82?

UST puts its claws out in a matchup with fellow upstart UE on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum.

Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.

HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SEVEN OTHER TEAMS IN UAAP SEASON 82:

With its arsenal fully loaded, UE’s ambush good to go in UAAP 82

UAAP 82 one more chance for NU to piece the puzzle together

All-Filipino La Salle all set to cut UAAP 82 rivals down to size

Brave FEU not backing down from more heralded UAAP 82 rivals

Behind Ahanmisi, Adamson’s youth will be on the march in UAAP 82

For the first time in a long time, UP has gone all-in for UAAP 82

Ateneo out to give its latest golden generation a fitting farewell in UAAP 82

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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