Letran Knight prods new weapons, preps for NCAA Season 96
Letran continues to load its arsenal with the addition of former Batang Gilas Pilipinas Youth player, Rafael Go, Perpetual skipper Yuki Kawamura, and ex-NU Bullpups and two-time UAAP Juniors champion Jeff Mailim and Jimly Lantaya.
The Knights improved their scheme and set an advance title-retention wherein Coach Bonnie Tan confirmed that Go and Kawamura have already been enrolled in the home of the champions of NCAA Basketball.
Letran’s athletic director Fr. Vic Calvo also confirmed that Mailim and Lantaya will also suit up for the Intramuros based squad.
The addition of these players is expected to fill the void left by Letran’s veteran players, Jerick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller who are crucial names in their run for the title last season.
Go, standing 6-foot-4 forward is a spin-off from the Chiang Kai Shek High School, Coach Tan shared to Tiebreaker Times that Go sets his eyes only for the Knights.
“Last year pa lang, gusto na niyang pumunta sa Letran. Talagang gustong-gusto niya pumunta sa Letran. Since, his dad also came from Chiang Kai Shek, we were able to connect.”
Moreover, Go’s play will add more firepower to the team as he is pooled as one of the players of Batang Gilas that represented the Philippines in the 2017 SEABA Under-16 championship where he averaged 8.2 points on 52-percent shooting from the field and 6.8 rebounds per game.
He was also part of the youth team that played in the 2018 FIBA Asian Championship, averaging 2.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Last year, Go was part of the Manila squad that finished third in the 2019 M-League under-24 where Go led the scoring front in the whole tournament, averaging 22.3 markers per contests with a total of 201 points and 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.2 steals.
While Kawamura came from the Junior Atlas as the Team Captain last season. The Altas capped off their title bid with a win-loss record of 7-11 as Kawamura ended the season with 11.9 points on 31-percent shooting from deep and 2.6 boards.
Meanwhile, Mailim is a 5-foot-10 guard that was part of the NU Bullpups 16-0 sweep under coach Goldwin Monteverde
He averaged 2.2 points and 1.1 rebounds in 8.0 minutes of action last UAAP season 82, playing as part of coach Goldwin’s backcourt rotation as he played behind guards like Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea, Ernest Felicilda, and Harold Alarcon.
Lantaya, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-9 reliever who played as back-up for the likes of Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao. He ended last season with an average score of 3.8 points and 2.5 boards.
These incoming rookies will suit up next season 96 as they seek to defend Letran’s throne with the trifecta of Fran Yu, Larry Muyang, and Jeo Ambohot.