UAAP: UE coach hopeful for next season

UE Coach Jack Santiago UAAP Season 85

UE Coach Jack Santiago. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Oriental University coach Jack Santiago is optimistic about his team’s chances next year after being knocked out of the Finals on Wednesday.

Red warrior wins later lost to Ateneo Blue Eagles, 69-66, in extra time.

Despite the early elimination of UE, Santiago has seen a lot of positive things to promote for next season.

“I always preach to my players that every game has a winner and a loser. What I want to see is the way we play and their attitude. If you notice, all of our players are mostly children. The good thing here is, as I told my coaching staff, at least we’ve seen players who can fill the void of (Nikko) Paranada,” said Santiago, whose team was once the No. at the beginning of the season, said.

“If you look at our squad, we are not that strong. We don’t import but every game we show we can compete. Maybe, there will come a stage where our team will suffer due to lack of materials,” he added.

However, the Red Warriors will be without some of their key players Luis Villegas and Nikko Paranada, who are no longer eligible for next season.

Villegas shone in his first and only season with UE, averaging 13.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while Paranada hit 10.2 points and 3.2 assists. every match.

Santiago is confident that other players will notice the slowness.

“Right now, I’d say they (players) are using our system. Let’s face it, we’re going to lose important players like Paranada, (CJ) Payawal and Luis. We’re looking at the rookies we started talking to. Hopefully we get some of them and they can also fill in the gaps,” said Santiago.

Nikko’s younger brother, Kyle, is expected to lead UE next year following a promising UAAP Season 85 campaign where he is averaging 11.5 points and 4.3 points. create. Rey Remogat also showed his ability after bursting with 21 points in a loss to Ateneo after entering the clash averaging just 2.7 points a game.

UE ended their Season 85 campaign against La Salle, who were competing for a place in the semi-finals.

“I really, really hope next season will be like what we had this season. Hopefully, we can achieve something more for us to improve. For us, even though we have been eliminated from the race, we assure the UE community that we will still try to finish this season on a winning streak.”

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