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Nic Cabanero overwhelmed by ‘winning feeling’ after 385 days of defeats


After 385 days, the University of Santo Tomas has finally tasted victory in UAAP men’s basketball.

The Growling Tigers ended a 19-game losing streak spanning Seasons 85 and 86 by defeating Far Eastern University 68-62 on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This victory marked UST’s first since their win against Adamson University with a score of 69-60 on October 1, 2022.

When the final buzzer sounded, feelings of relief and happiness erupted. At long last, the UST community sang its hymn first, instead of the opposing school.UAAP86-MBB-UST-vs-FEU-HC-PIDO-JARENCIO-8625 Nic Cabanero overwhelmed by 'winning feeling' after 385 days of defeats Basketball News UAAP UST  - philippine sports news

“Super natutuwa ako (at) nao-overwhelm ako,” said Nic Cabañero, who led the Growling Tigers with 23 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

“Ito kasi yung magbibigay sa amin ng confidence going into the next round eh. We’ll be happy today, and we’re gonna work tomorrow na again. Alam ko second round Wednesday. Trabaho ulit and let’s see what adjustments we need to make, and continue to show our pride, pride, palaban.

“Big credits din sa mga teammates namin kasi tuloy pa rin kaming naniniwala sa isa’t isa, and to the coaches kasi walang sawa ang suporta nila and alam ko sleepless rin sila so thank you coaches: Coach Pido (Jarencio), Coach Japs (Cuan), and to all coaches and management kasi nandiyan kayo lagi para sa amin,” the third-year guard expressed.

The Growling Tigers dug deep to secure the victory. Despite the absence of center Adama Faye, UST outrebounded FEU, with the Growling Tigers grabbing 53 rebounds while the Tamaraws managed only 42.

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Faye’s inability to play had already derailed UST’s campaign. At least today, the Growling Tigers discovered that they could win without their main big man and plan to use this result as a boost in the second round.

UAAP86-MBB-UST-vs-FEU-CHRISTIAN-MANAYTAY-8427 Nic Cabanero overwhelmed by 'winning feeling' after 385 days of defeats Basketball News UAAP UST  - philippine sports news“Kasama ko naman si Nic sa pag step-up,” said Christian Manaytay, who followed Cabañero’s lead with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals.

“Feeling ko lang I just need to do my job kasi yun lang ang kailangan naming gawin as a team. Sa team namin, meron kaming role na tig-isa. Na-fill ko lang yung role since wala nga (si Adama Faye). Kailangan talaga mag step-up mga bigs namin — si Echo (Laure), si (Angelo) Crisostomo, at si (Thirdy) Esmeña,” the third-year forward continued.

“During practice, nag-pu-push (kami). Sinasabi lang namin tayo na lang ang natitirang big dito. Wala na tayong kakapitan. Wala na tayong aasahan. Ilaban na lang natin to. Lahat ng opportunity man. Kung box out lang, box out lang kasi sila namang kumuha ng mga rebound namin.”

Now that they have the monkey off their backs, the Growling Tigers aim to use this win as a springboard for the second round. The players’ challenge of bringing UST to the Final Four for the first time since Season 78 will be tough with their 1-6 record, but they have no choice but to give it a proper try.

As coach Pido Jarencio joked before the start of the season, UST’s goal was to get just one win. That goal, even if said in jest, has already been achieved. The Growling Tigers must now be greedy.

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“Para din na ma-absorb din namin kung paano manalo sa laro,” said Cabañero. “It’s been a long time na wala kaming panalo eh. Para ma-feel rin namin kung gano pala kasarap yung manalo ba.

“I do hope na mag-continue sa second round.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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