UST's Cabanero relishes praise, but winning is priority

Aeron Gabriel V. Pantig

Posted at Nov 30 2022 07:22 PM

De La Salle guard Evan Nelle had high praise for University of Sto. Tomas rookie Nic Cabañero after the Green Archers ended the Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 85 campaign with a 77-72 win on Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum. 

“Just continue to work hard … He’s putting up MVP numbers, I just to told him to continue,” said Nelle, who filled the stat sheet with a season-high 25 points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block. 

However, the 19-year-old Cabañero who delivered 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists off the bench in the losing effort, has his eyes on bringing back the glory to UST, which won its last UAAP Men’s Basketball title wayback in Season 69. 

“Syempre na-touch ako sa sinabi niya, pero gusto ko kasing hindi lang ako,” Cabañero said.

The 6-foot-2 Cabañero was averaging 17.75 points, 6.75 rebounds, and 2.75 assists in more than 30 minutes of action, prior to the loss. 

“Gusto ko rin ’yung mga teammates ko, ’yung makapasok kami by next year sa Final Four and magchampion, ‘yun yung dream ko,” he added. 

Despite tallying MVP numbers, Cabañero recognized there were still facets of his game that he has to improve on as the Growling Tigers’ finished the tournament with a dismal 1-13 record. 

“He just said that he needs to work on his leadership. At least he knows what he needs to do. I said he can take the league by storm,” said Nelle, whose Green Archers face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday for the right to the fourth seed and a playoff date with Ateneo.