IN NUMBERS: UST vs NU – UAAP Season 81
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas looks to sustain its steady rise against the squad that dealt the Tigers an opening-day heartbreak.
The Tigers, the unlikely holder of the longest active winning streak, vies for a fourth straight victory in their 2 pm duel against the National U Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament on Sunday, October 21 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
But while the Tigers climbed to 5th place with a 4-4 record, the Bulldogs struggled to find answers and fell to 7th with a 2-6 slate.
Still going strong after an impressive first round, rookie Tiger sensation CJ Cansino has proven to be the same dominant force he was in his UAAP juniors MVP run with the UST high school squad.
Cansino, who's averaging 13.1 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds, is running tied at sixth place in the league’s rebounding leaderboards with 6-foot-7 FEU center Prince Orizu while also running 10th in the scoring list.
The 6-foot-2 guard dishes out 2.9 assists a game, good for seventh and just above resurgent Adamson point guard Jerie Pingoy.
Cansino is seventh in the league MVP race as of posting time, sandwiched between Adamson stars Jerrick Ahanmisi at sixth and Papi Sarr at eighth.
However, the upstart Bulldogs currently have the equally young UST’s number after a 75-70 opening day win.
And not to be outdone, NU’s Dave Ildefonso is holding his own in his first year with 14.9 points a game, seventh in the scoring leaderboards.
The son of former PBA stalwart Danny Ildefonso has also proven to still be an efficient slasher and mid-range shooter like he was with the Ateneo Eaglets, coming in at seventh in the two-point field goal percentage leaderboards with 51.8% shooting.
Despite all that scoring, he’s also NU’s best passer with a 2.6 assists per game average.
With no shortage of blue-chip recruits and a lot of growing years to go, UST and NU may no longer be just lower-ranked squads in the coming seasons.
For now, expect a whole lot of youthful energy to be displayed once these two meet again. – Rappler.com