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Maliksi, Mariano make UST return

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas Institute of Physical Education and Sports director Fr. Rodel Cansancio (middle) makes the ceremonial jump ball for UST alumni Allein Maliksi of Meralco and Aljon Mariano of Ginebra during their PBA On Tour game. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE VARSITARIAN

Memories came flooding back for Allein Maliksi and Aljon Mariano when their respective teams — Meralco and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel — played at University of Santo Tomas for the Philippine Basketball Association On Tour late Wednesday.

Maliksi said he was thrilled to make his UST homecoming that happened 12 years after bannering the Growling Tigers in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.

He played under Pido Jarencio together with the likes of Dylan Ababou and Jervy Cruz.

Mariano, who played for the Tigers from 2009 to 2014, also took a stroll down memory lane, saying that he still recalls his former teammates, coaches and, of course, classmates and school personnel who have been part of journey as a Thomasian athlete.

They were part of my journey back in college so I’m happy that they’re still here,” said Mariano, who teamed up with Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, Karim Abdul and Kevin Ferrer back in his time at UST.

Maliksi capped his visit to his alma mater with 23 points, helping the Bolts hammer a 106-96 victory.

Mariano, for his part, ended the night with eight points.

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