New era begins for the Growling Tigers.
Not a few fans of the UST Growling Tigers were delighted to hear the news that Pido Jarencio is finally back in the lair.
Jarencio was officially introduced to the team on Friday according to a report by the Varsitarian, the official student publication of the university. He replaced PBA legend and UST alumnus Bal David, who stepped down from his post last January 26.
The warm welcome from the school’s supporters was understandable. After all, UST had a lot of success with the former NorthPort Batang Pier coach (and concurrent team manager) at the helm.
Among them, these three are the most notable.
2012 UAAP Finals
Under the firebrand mentor, the Growling Tigers thrived in being the underdogs. And that season, UST was not exactly favored to reach the Final Four. But they exceeded expectations, and did more.
With guys like Jeric Fortuna, Jeric Teng, and Karim Abdul leading the rugged crew that put the “Pride, Puso, Palaban” mantra to heart, UST reached the finals of the season.
But a formidable 5 peat-seeking Ateneo Blue Eagles got in the way. Kiefer Ravena, Greg Slaughter, Juami Tiongson, Nico Salva, Justin Chua, and Ryan Buenafe achieved the rare feat by sweeping the Growling Tigers.
2013 UAAP Finals
Save for the departure of Fortuna, UST had an intact lineup. Since they were coming off a finals appearance the previous season, expectations were high.
Jeric Teng and Karim Abdul remained the focal point of the team’s offense. And with Aljon Mariano and Kevin Ferrer also stepping up big time that season, UST returned to the finals, this time against the La Salle Green Archers.
But Mariano missed a jumper in regulation and committed a turnover in the homestretch of the overtime, and the Growling Tigers lose grasp of their much-coveted championship.
2006 UAAP Championship
Jarencio was named the new coach after UST missed the Final Four the previous two seasons with Reonel Parado at the helm.
There were really little expectations for the rebuilding team. But Jarencio and his squad had other plans, surprising the league after zooming to the No. 3 spot with Jojo Duncil and Jervy Cruz leading the charge.
But they didn’t want to settle for a Final Four appearance. The Growling Tigers poured every ounce of effort and heart in the series and shocked the heavily favored Blue Eagles led by coach Norman Black and had the likes of Doug Kramer, Chris Tiu, and JC Intal.
UST, though, has yet to win a championship since then.