Saturday, January 29, 2011

S73 Autopsy: UST Growling Tigers

Outgoing Players
- None

Win/Loss Records
- Season 73: 4-10 (7th)
- Season 72: 6-8 (4th, lost in Final Four to Ateneo De Manila University)
- Season 71: 6-8 (5th)

Key Stats
- First in the league in 3 point shots converted (7.93/game) and 3 point percentage (38.75%)
- Last in free throws attempted (8.71/game) and made (13.71/game)
- Last in defensive rebounds (22.07/game), total rebounds (35.36/game) and blocks (2.5/game)
- Last in opponents' allowed field goal percentage (42.66%)


"There's always next year, there's always next year..." (photo source)

Season in a Snapshot
Season 74 was all Pido Jarencio could think about. Quotes given before, in the middle of, and after the season reflected his optimism that his squad could make a run at the championship, appropriately enough, during UST's Quadricentennial anniversary. The problem? He was thinking all of that during Season 73, a season that would turn out to be his worst with the Tigers, a mere 4-10. In all his enthusiasm for 2011, he forgot that they had to play in 2010.

And perhaps it's for the best for Growling Tigers fans to do the same and forget about Season 73. Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, and Clark Bautista led what was essentially a stop-gap team and they took to heart the hoops axiom, "Live by the three, die by the three." When one of the trio got hot, the Tigers did their best to ride that momentum to a win but moments like that were few and far between, and ultimately, not enough to sneak back into the Final Four.

Team Needs
- Enforcers at the 4/5 spot who can rebound and block shots
- Slashers to space the floor

Jarencio proclaimed himself out of UST if nothing would result from all the hype he has been generating (he may not actually have a choice, being on the last year of his contract), and coupled with the school's anniversary, there's a lot of pressure for the squad to do well.

That said, this is a program on the decline, with problems attracting and more importantly, keeping talent, as guys like Kyle Neypes, Cedric Labing-isa, and Kevin Ferrer exit in droves. Many alumni are also upset that there hasn't been any discernible improvement in those that are already on the roster. Jarencio's recruits will really need to be something amazing, because otherwise, they could be sliding lower down the pole.

Projected Recruits
- A lot of UST's recruits undergoing residency are rarely out and out discussed due to fears of them being stolen away. That said, Jarencio is supposed to have about 3 Fil-Ams on tap, and a 6'6" Cameroonian center.
- John Sheriff is one of those Fil-Ams, a 6'1" point guard that can compensate for the incumbent starter's, Jeric Fortuna, lack of height.
- The 6'6" (though Jarnecio at one point said he was 6'8") center goes by "Karim" and is said to have quite an impressive game, able to post up, hit mid-range jays, and block shots, while also excelling in transition. 
- Jaypee Sarcia is one of the few Tiger Cubs who will continue his career in Espana. A fearsome gunner, Sarcia will add even more shooting, as if they really needed it.

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