Unveiling their reloaded squad, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers obliterated the Batangas-EAC Generals, 94-70, to kickstart their 2019 PBA D-League campaign on a high, Monday afternoon at Paco Arena in Manila.
Coach Aldin Ayo proudly paraded his new recruits, with Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo uncorking 19 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks to lead the charge.
Pangasinense forward Rhanz Abando also had a rousing debut with his 17 points, nine boards, two dimes. Meanwhile, Brent Paraiso collected eight points, six rebounds, and five assists.
The Growling Tigers also unveiled 18-year-old guard Mark Nonoy, who lived up to the hype to pour 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal as he became the youngest player in PBA D-League history.
“Masaya kami kasi nakapaglaro agad ng maayos yung mga bago. Nakapag-adjust sila agad,” he said.
“Unang liga namin ito na big league. Masaya naman ako na hindi kami masyadong tight and nailabas nila yung laro nila. Yun lang naman, gusto lang namin na mailabas yung pineprepare namin,” added the only coach to win an NCAA and UAAP crown in back-to-back years.
Abando led the blazing 10-0 start for the Growling Tigers, which set the tone for the game, where the boys from España pushed the lead to as much as 33, 75-42, late in the third courtesy of Germy Mahinay’s free throws.
Senior playmaker Renzo Subido chipped in 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds for UST. The Growling Tigers now have an early advantage in the Aspirants Group.
Earvin Mendoza led Batangas-EAC in the loss with 14 points, three steals, and two rebounds off the bench, as Allan Martin scored 10.
UST 94 — Chabi Yo 19, Abando 17, Nonoy 15, Subido 11, Paraiso 8, Lee 7, Mahinay 6, Pangilinan 5, Ando 4, Caunan 2.
Batangas-EAC 70 — E. Mendoza 14, Martin 10, Maguliano 8, Gonzales 8, De Joya 7, Dela Pena 4, Boffa 4, J. Mendoza 3, Tampoc 2, Fuentes 2, Corilla 2, Cadua 2, Taywan 2, Estacio 2.
Quarterscores: 24-11, 45-27, 75-46, 94-70.