by Jerome Lagunzad
Prolific SJ Belangel is bent on keeping himself perched on Ateneo’s nest while forward Dave Ildefonso is keeping his options open as the touted Blue Eaglets spread their wings ahead of their awaited promotion to the seniors’ basketball ranks.
Belangel, considered by many as one of the top guards who’s set to come out of high school this year, has kept mum on his big decision but remains dead-set on joining the Blue Eagles for the title-retention bid in the UAAP Season 81 starting in Sept.
“Most likely, he’ll be staying with Ateneo,” said an unimpeachable source, who is privy to the development but spoke on condition of anonymity to Tempo-Bulletin yesterday.
Aside from Belangel, a two-time member of the UAAP juniors Mythical Team, the 6-foot-3 Ildefonso won’t run out of his suitors. But the son of former two-time PBA MVP Danny is down to just two choices: Ateneo or National University.
“He already told us that he’ll come up with his decision by the end of this month,” added the source of Ildefonso, who has that golden chance to have a family reunion of sorts with his father Danny and elder brother Shaun at the Bulldogs’ camp.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas got another solid recruit in former NCAA juniors MVP Mike Enriquez, a day after acquiring the services of reigning UAAP juniors MVP CJ Cansino.
The 5-foot-10 Enriquez hoisted the league’s top individual award in 2015 during his sophomore season while suiting up for the Mapua Red Robins. However, he endured an injury-plagued showing in his junior year and was left in tears after Mapua fell prey to La Salle-Greenhills in last year’s finals.
But Enriquez should gain a fresh start at the Growling Tigers’ camp where he’ll be working side-by-side anew with Red Robins mentor Randy Alcantara, who’s been a key addition to Aldin Ayo’s coaching staff.
Chiang Kai Shek star John Galinato and National University gunner Migs Oczon, both under tactician Goldwin Monteverde, are among those top high school prospects who have yet to disclose any developments about their expected big jump to the next level.