NCAA Season 96 host Letran College is hoping to make the most of basketball and the three other mandatory sports to be played next year.
In fact, the Knights of coach Bonnie Tan have added three top-notch players -- Joseph Brutas, Kenny Rogers Rocacurva and Jay Pangalanan -- to their line-up in time for their title-retention campaign in the centerpiece sport of basketball.
Brutas played for UCBL champion Diliman College under veteran coach Rensy Bajar.
The 21-year-old Brutas was a dependable scorer for the Dragons of Bajar, who is also the assistant coach of NorthPort Batang Pier where Tan serves as manager.
Rocacurva saw action for the Cebu Institute of Technology.
Pangalangan initially agreed to play for St. Benilde but changed his mind to join Letran
The three new players are expected take the places of veterans Jerrick Balanza, Christian Balagasay and Bonbon Batellier, who have all graduated.
Also adding depth to Letran is 6-6 center Christian Fajarito, who returned after skipping last season to play in the MPBL.
The four players will join Letran’s star-studded line-up that also include composed of Larry Muyang, Fran Yu, Jeo Ambohot, Ato Ulkar and Pao Javillonar.
“We lost three of our veterans but we’re still blessed we still have players from last year and some new ones who help us defend out title when the season starts,” said Tan in earlier interview.
Tan also said he is in constant communication with his players even during the lockdown.
Aside from basketball, the other three mandatory sports are volleyball, swimming and track and field.
Meanwhile, Tan also took a stand with his fellow coaches on the issue of racism.
“While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the rules of Philippine basketball are in place for their own respective reasons which you may not understand. To criticize local players, officials, coaches and leagues (PBA, FIBA) you are not an active part of is totally uncalled for. Some things are better left unsaid,” Tan posted in his Facebook page.
“You should be in the NBA if you are one good banana. But hey fella, we are here in Pinas so you better RESPECT the local coaches, players and officials.”