UST seeks timely tonic from La Salle rout in match against a hungry UP squad
Louie Vigil and the UST Growling Tigers look to keep their heads up after a beating from La Salle as they face a fellow struggling team in the UP Maroons. Jaime Campos

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas hopes to bank on some history to find some spark when their UAAP Season 79 campaign resumes Saturday against the University of the Philippines at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Despite suffering a lopsided loss against La Salle on Wednesday, the Growling Tigers remain optimistic as UST was blown out by a powerhouse Ateneo side, 114-78, in the first round of the 2006 season but went on to win the UAAP title under then-rookie head coach Pido Jarencio against the same Blue Eagles squad.

The Growling Tigers now look to put the 100-62 loss to the Green Archers, the biggest blowout of the season thus far, behind them as they go up against the Fighting Maroons at 2 p.m.

UST coach Boy Sablan, however, said the 38-point defeat should draw the Tigers even closer as they continue on with their campaign this year.

“Kung ano man ‘yung nangyari, ito ‘yung time na mas lalo tayong kailangan magsama-sama at hindi tayo bumigay dahil three games pa lang. Mahaba pa,” said Sablan.

The Growling Tigers, however, will no longer have Embons Bonleon this season after aggravating his left wrist injury during the game against La Salle.

The Maroons are also looking for a spark after bowing to their second loss in as many outings when they were defeated by the Green Archers, 89-71.

UP coach Bo Perasol stressed the need for players other than Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel to contribute for the Maroons’ cause against the Tigers.

“Our team is looking for something to ignite our own version of momentum,” said Perasol. “For that to happen, we have to play heads-up basketball, lessen our turnovers, and hopefully get some more contributions from other players aside from Jett and Paul.” 

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