UST duo Sheriff, Lao hold heads high despite frustrating end to UAAP careers
UST paid tribute to their graduating players like Jon Sheriff and Louie Vigil after the final game of the season for the Tigers. Jaime Campos

IT wasn't exactly the send-off University of Santo Tomas' graduating players Jon Sheriff and Kent Lao wanted to end their UAAP stints, but both walked away from their collegiate careers with heads held high.

The Tigers bowed to Ateneo, 74-64, in their last game in the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament on Saturday to fall to their worst finish since 1994 with a 3-11 record. Still, Sheriff and Lao chose to focus on better times in their collegiate careers than their disappointing final season.

"Personally, I did not want to end it with a loss but still I don't take anything for granted. No regrets for me. We did what we could," said Sheriff. 

"Unang una, nagpapasalamat ako sa mga sumusuporta samin. Obviously hindi siya ganun kagandang season for us, pero nandun pa rin yung mga sumusuporta samin," Lao added.

Both players also believe that they will leave the team in good hands. With a longer preparation for next season, Sheriff assured fans that the Tigers will return to their winning ways.

"I think we just had a tough time adjusting because our coach was only named a few months before the season. We had a hard time adjusting to the system. But next year, I think they are going to be a lot better. There's a longer period for them to get ready for the season," he said.

"Magandang future nitong mga to kasi at a very young age, very talented yung mga maiiwan namin. And then ang daming room for improvements pa para sa future seasons," added Lao.

[See Ateneo clobbers UST to boost bid for twice-to-beat spot]

Sheriff and Lao are eyeing possible stints in the PBA D-League but the latter bared he’s also considering to put his focus on finishing his master’s degree in Business Administration.


"Magpapa-draft na ko sa PBA D-League. I'm going to play two conferences there and, hopefully, ma-draft sa PBA. I'm still going to work hard and keep on grinding," said Sheriff. 

"Try ko pa rin mag D-League. If wala, stick na lang ako to studies," bared Lao. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros