Season teems with talented rookies
- Joey Villar () - July 10, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A pair of scoring marvels, a couple of tall Africans, two versatile Fil-Ams, a former RP youth mainstay and several former high school standouts will banner a brigade of UAAP talented rookies this season.

Joshua Saret, who set a scoring record by firing 89 points in a game as a Jose Rizal Light Bomber in the NCAA last year, will make his debut for University of the Philippines in Season 73.

Another junior phenom, Terrence Romeo, who poured in 83 points in a UAAP high school match a season ago, hopes to provide additional firepower to a Far Eastern U crew seeking to win it all this year.

“Even though he (Romeo) is just a rookie, he’s playing like a veteran maybe because of his exposure in the UAAP juniors,” said FEU coach Glen Capacio.

“He just needs to make a few adjustments because he had this tendency to lose control, he really needs to adjust because he’s playing with several veterans,” he added.

Saret is also coming in with an all-around ability as he suits up for the Maroons.

“Everybody focuses on the 89 points that Josh (Saret) scored,” said UP mentor Aboy Castro. “You have to understand that the day he scored 89 points, he also had 14 assists, 14 rebounds and 11 steals.

“That’s a quadruple-double, which makes him not just a scoring machine but a versatile player,” he added.

And then there are foreign recruits Emmanuel Mbe of Cameroon and Lionel “Austin” Manyara of Kenya.

The 6-foot-7 Mbe is playing for the National U Bulldogs and should provide defensive clout for coach Eric Gonzales’ team.

“He’s our Incredible Hulk,” said Gonzales.

The 6-foot-6 Manyara, who once played for the Kenyan national youth squad, has been tapped to boost further Adamson’s formidable frontcourt .

Manyara will play alongside William Stinnett, a Fil-Am who is a defensive specialist.

“They’re two good acquisitions, one (Manyara) providing us more inside presence and the other (Stinnett) the wing defense, offense and leadership,” said Adamson mentor Leo Austria in Filipino.

Michael Silungan, a 6’3” guard out of Harper College, will play side by side with Saret. That should make UP, the 1986 victor, a legitimate challenger.

“After two years, he (Silungan) could finally play and help us win more games,” said Castro.

Philip Paredes, a 6-5” Cagayan de Oro native who suited up for the RP Youth team of then coach Franz Pumaren a few years back, will help provide some muscle to La Salle’s frontcourt following the departure of Arvie Bringas.

Former Letran high school stars Jarelan Tampus and Glenn Khobuntin – both former NCAA Mythical Team members – are now with La Salle and NU, respectively, while Arthur dela Cruz, son of former PBA star Art, who was a vital cog in San Beda’s NCAA junior title run last year, is now a Blue Eagle.

Tampus, a native of Cebu, will be teaming up with former La Salle-Zobel hotshot Nico Elorde and ex-San Sebastian High stalwart Almond Vosotros.

“We have good, talented rookies this year, hopefully they mature as the season progresses,” said La Salle coach Dindo Pumaren, who replaced elder brother Franz late last year.

With a crop of rookies, the league is assured not only of the most talented but also the most explosive bunch in years.

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