The España based-squad secured the commitments of former Arellano standout Rom Junsay, Ateneo High’s Rafael Pangilinan, Johnsherick Estrada from St. Clare College of Caloocan, and Nikko Panganiban from Our Lady of Fatima University.

/ 22 October 2020

Growling Tigers interim head coach Jino Manansala confirmed the arrival of Junsay and Pangilinan to help the team rebuild its depleted roster as both ballers join the team online training last Tuesday.

Junsay, a former NBTC All-Star and Slam Rising Star standout, is expected to power up the team after his staller performance with Arellano and Mapua Red Robins.

However, Junsay, 20, sat out the past two years to finish his high school studies after previously running into academic issues back in his time in Mapua.

The 5-foot-6 court general averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals back in 2018 during his final year in NCAA Season 94.

On the other hand, Pangilinan is part of the championship squad that won multiple titles with the Blue Eaglets. The Ateneo forward is set to join fellow former Blue Eaglet Daniel Coo at the UST camp.

“It’s confirmed that Rafael has already committed to UST,” Manansala confirmed with Fastbreak “He will be an added boost to the team’s wing position.”

Also joining the Growling Tigers is Estrada, a 6-foot guard who was a key piece to the Junior Saints’ back-to-back National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities  (NAASCU) title reigns and was included in the Mythical Team back in 2019.

While Panganiban is a 6-foot-1 scorer who was crowned as NAASCU’s Rookie of the Year last season and was supposed to play for the Rizal-Xentro Mall Golden Coolers in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

After the controversial Bubble training in Sorsogon, UST suddenly finds itself in a rebuilding season as the team is set to bring back the ravaged program.

“We are glad to secure their commitments. They will be a great addition for UST,” Manansala said. 

“While we are still in talks with several prospects, our focus right now is completing the lineup for the upcoming UAAP season,” he added.

The new recruits will fill the void left by CJ Cansino, Rhenz Abando, and Mark Nonoy among others that left the Growling Tigers roster depleted.