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UAAP Season 82 Preview: Why UST Will Emerge as Dark Horse

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Key Holdovers: CJ Cansino, Zach Huang, Renzo Subido, and Enrique Caunan

Key Additions: Mark Nonoy, Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Deo Cuajao

Key Losses: Steve Akomo, Marvin Lee, Toby Agustin, Germy Mahinay, and Joshua Marcos

The UST Growling Tigers picked up their pace last season, and now it’s time for them to go all-out this Season 82.

UST were one of the teams who were competitive enough to slither in the Final Four slot, only to suffer crucial loses that affected their campaign.

Looking back, the Espana-based squad have made it this far already thanks UST head coach Aldin Ayo’s tested-and-proven system and consistent recruitment of blue-chip talents, and now is the time for them to solve the puzzle.

Ayo’s Mayhem/Tiger System

UST head coach Aldin Ayo knows how to thrive as an underdog – just look back at his 2015 run with the Letran Knights where they won the NCAA title against the mighty San Beda Red Lions.

The two-time titlist mentor literally started from scratch with the Tigers last season, but it turned out pretty well for the team as he was able to let his guys embrace the iconic “Mayhem System”.

Ayo sure knows that this time, he will face a daunting task on bringing back the glory days of UST, and he has to prove that his system will still propel them at the Final Four stage.

The Cansino Show

Maybe it’s not fair to put all the pressure on CJ Cansino – because after all – he is just over nine months removed from his ACL injury.

Still, we cannot help but to glue our eyes on the UAAP Season 80 Juniors MVP, as he proved that he could be the team’s go-to guy last season thanks to his multiple double-double performances, as well as a rare triple-double game.

Although the UST’s new team captain is expected to lead the Tigers, he doesn’t have to carry the entire load on both ends.

Hyped Newcomers

The Tigers are more than excited for their newcomers, who showed a lot of potentials in their previous competitions

Home-grown talent Mark Nonoy sure has what it takes to become UST’s primary playmaker, but the team will definitely pull out a surprise in the form of transferee Brent Paraiso who has proven to be a great two-way player.

The team also have an enforcer of Chabi Yo and wingman Rhenz Abando who are expected to use their athleticism and versatility to become effective on both ends.

Loaded Squad

Believe it or not, UST boasts a loaded squad this season.

Aside from the newcomers who complete the team’s needed skillsets, they still have their veterans who know how to win games.

Sweet-shooting Renzo Subido remains to be a threat on the offensive end, as well as Zach Huang and Enric Caunan who can contribute at the highest level on both ends at any given night, and of course, they got Cansino who is now UST’s main guy.

With this fully-loaded depth, the Tigers will surely claw their way back to the top.