By Sherlyn Paleg
QUEZON CITY - The UST Growling Tigers proved that they can be a legitimate title contender this season as they knocked down the UP Fighting Maroons with and 85-69 victory, to remain unbeaten on Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tigers relied on their super rookie, Mark Nonoy, as he exploded with 16 points, five rebounds, and two assists to stagged their standing to 2-0.
"Hindi ko iniisip na statement kasi siguro on paper, very talented talaga yung UP. Pero lahat naman napaghahandaan. Isang laro lang naman ito, meron pang dose pa," Coach Aldin Ayo said, with his sights focusing on the game against the Blue Eagles slated on Wednesday.
He doesn't buy this hype as being threat for Ateneo to be dethroned.
Beninese big man Soulemane Chabi Yo also did his part as he released 18 points, 18 rebounds, two steals, one assist, and one block to help UST deliver a statement against last season's runner-up.
Former UAAP S81 MVP Bright Akhuetie swished 19 points, 16 rebounds, and three assists for UP, which continued to miss the services of Kobe Paras.
Javi Gomez de Liano harmonized in 15 points and eight boards, as Jaydee Tungcab had 11 points and four rebounds in the losing cause.
UST 85 -- Chabi Yo 18, Nonoy 16, Subido 13, Abando 12, Ando 10, Huang 9, Paraiso 6, Cansino 1, Bataller 0, Concepcion 0, Cosejo 0, Cuajao 0.
UP 69 -- Akhuetie 19, Ja. Gomez de Liano 15, Tungcab 11, Murrell 6, Ju. Gomez de Liano 5, Manzo 5, Rivero 4, Webb 4, Gozum 0, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15, 44-37, 63-58, 85-69.
Follow her on Twitter: @jsmpaleg