Jack Santiago eyes new recruits, import for UE

Published November 24, 2022, 1:46 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Jack Santiago of University of the East. (UAAP Media)


University of the East head coach Jack Santiago took pride in his team’s recent feat in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament as he looks forward to bringing new talents including a much-needed import in their pool next year. 

The sophomore tactician, who led the Red Warriors to a 4-9 record as their campaign draws to a close, was delighted with his players’ attitude that towed them to that position. 

“I’m happy even though we lost the game [against Ateneo]. We showed some brilliance sa game,” said Santiago. 

In true “dark horse” fashion, UE forced last season’s finalist to overtime before yielding down the stretch. 

Despite falling short, the loss proved to be telling of UE’s bright future while it became Ateneo’s “ugly win” which the latter needed in its Final Four berth. 

With graduating key players in Paranada brothers, Luis Villegas and CJ Payawal, Santiago is hoping that UE’s recruitment will come to fruition and do wonders as the team strengthens its core for the next season. 

“Kasi titingnan mo naman ‘yong lineup. We are the dark horse, di kami gano’n kalakas. Wala kaming import. But still every game nakakapag-compete kami. Siguro dadating lang doon sa stage na because of lack of materials, minsan talagang medyo down the stretch magsa-suffer ‘yong team,” added Santiago. 

UE, the lone team with no import, didn’t disappoint this season after snapping its 11-game losing streak and branding itself as a team to watch out for. 

Rey Remogat, the rookie who finished with 21 points for the Warriors in the losing effort, will be expected to step up more come the next season. 

“But we’re looking at ‘yong mga [players through] recruitment that we are starting to talk. Hopefully, makuha namin ‘yong mga ilang players na ‘yon na makakapalit doon sa mawawalang space. Plus ‘yong import namin. Sana maging ganito ulit ‘yong next season namin and maka-achieve pa kami or improve pa namin,” he concluded.