The Games that Play Us: Earning Their Stripes

Kevin Ferrer is no longer just a cub.
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UST Growling Tigers over the UE Red Warriors, 70-63

What is with the newcomers this season? They’ve all but stolen the show and the thunder from the veterans. Slaughter slaughtered Adamson, Ravena lit up the Archers and Parks undid UP.

For sure former UAAP juniors MVP Kevin Ferrer would follow suit right?

You betcha.

The former Tiger Cub exploded for 19 points, grabbed 5 boards and had 1 steal in helping UST defeat the rebuilding UE Red Warriors. Ferrer hit 3 triples on the way to leading the Tigers to an unexpected 2-0 record after the 2nd week of hostilities in the UAAP. He has certainly earned his stripes.

Karim Abdul came through as UST's
tower of power.
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Along with the two Jerics and the hulking Karim Abdul, Ferrer made coach Pido Jarencio look like a sage. Save for a horrendous last period where they gave UE many opportunities to crawl back in the game, UST was unstoppable.

All guns were clicking, including transferee Louie Vigil, who managed 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 triple in his second game. It’s pretty clear that Ferrer has taken all the long toms Tata Bautista would’ve taken if he were around, and Vigil is now the top swingman off the pine, taking Aljohn Mariano’s old spot. Everything seems set for the Tigers.

Newcomer Louie Vigil was a spark off the bench for UST.
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Expectations have to be tempered though. Despite the hot start, they’ve yet to face any of the Top 4 seeded teams and the dangerous UP Maroons, and that pristine 2-0 record could just as easily become 2-5 when the first round closes.

But for now the Tigers are basking in glory and triumph. Their veterans have been solid, and the newbies have been promising to say the least. Even the unheralded Paulo Pe has been relatively impressive in limited minutes at the slot. If all goes really well, then coach Jarencio might just give UST a 401st reason to be happy this year.

As for UE, well, what can anyone expect? In realistic terms, UE can go 0-14 this season. They gave UST a scare late in the fourth, but now that they’re done with the Maroons and the Tigers, who else can they potentially upset? Coach Jerry Codiñera tried shuffling things a bit with a surprising starting unit against UST, but it did nothing. The grand production of that first five? 2 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and a collective 1-of-16 from the field – those are supposedly the five people who worked the hardest in practice mind you. Atrocious seems too kind an adjective.

It might seem unjust to pencil UE in at 0-7 this early in the first round, but unless the Fates have a sudden change of heart, there just seems to be no way UE can beat anybody in this league.

*Props to rookie Roi Sumang, though, for having another impressive outing. Along with former Red Cub Chris Javier, he looks to be the face of UE’s bleak future.

UST 70– Ferrer 19, Teng 13, Fortuna 12, Abdul 10, Vigil 7, Afuang 3, Camus 3, Lo 2, Pe 1, Tan 0, Sheriff 0
UE 63– Zamar 18, Sumang 14, Noble 9, Sumido 9, Javier 6, Santos 5, Enguio 0, Montelibano 0, Tagarda 0, Chavez 0, Flores 0, Zosa 0
QS: 11-8, 35-22, 60-39, 70-63

Game Highlights here: UE-UST Round 1 Season 74

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