RoS coach: Santillan is a great asset

Published August 2, 2021, 1:55 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Rain or Shine coach Chris Gavina believes that maximizing the talent in rookie Santi Santillan will contribute a lot for the team in the future.

Rain or Shine rookie forward Santi Santillan (PBA)

In Sunday’s 83-77 win against the TerraFirma Dyip, the prized recruit from De La Salle University delivered with six points, seven rebounds, and a pair of assist and block.

But the contribution he has done the past couple of games sure got the nod of the Elasto Painters tactician.

“You know every single day in practice I keep telling the coaching staff that Santi is such a great talent to have,” said Gavina. “We were lucky enough to pick him this year and we knew what he brought — a great deal of energy.”

While Santillan, selected overall at No. 5, has yet to have a breakout game, the 25-year-old Cebuano forward is averaging 2.50 points and 2.83 rebounds in six games.

But what Gavina finds interesting was Santillan’s high-leaping ability and natural talent in the paint for the rebound.

That said, a new resident rebounder for the Elasto Painters has come to town.

“He has this unique ability of gravitating to where the ball bounces and he’s so aggressive going after rebounds. The more we can get him on the floor and maximize him, I think looking forward Santi’s gonna be a great asset for us,” added Gavina.

And with the win, Rain or Shine ended its two-game skid and improved to a 4-2 record at No. 5.