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Retooled Red Warriors look to sustain resurgence in new UAAP season

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Retooled Red Warriors look to sustain resurgence in new UAAP season
UE head coach Jack Santiago
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The past UAAP season saw a new dawn for the UE Red Warriors, as they looked competitive for a spot in the Final Four after recent years of being cellar dwellers in the men’s senior tournament.

Even as standout players like Luis Villegas and CJ Payawal are already moving forward from the UAAP, UE head coach Jack Santiago believes he has enough pieces to sustain their growth.

“We all know naman na we lost a lot of players last season but unti-unti napunuan namin yun with new recruits, and we’re doing a lot of changes now to maximize yung mga bagong players,” Santiago said during the pre-tournament press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena last Wednesday.

Santiago’s key additions include Jack Cruz-Dumont, and Precious Momowei, while he also has holdovers like Rey Remogat and Abdul Sawat.

After a competitive season last year, where they notched wins over the likes of powerhouse La Salle, and other schools FEU and UST, Santiago knows they can’t count on just pulling more surprises. With everyone else also adding pieces to their roster, the competition only gets tougher from here.

“We are so excited because we got the recruited players na [and] they are all eligible already but we cannot just take it easy because other teams also recruited players and they’re doing good also,” he said.

“But [the] bottom line is I see my players they’re hungrier than last year. Hopefully we will come out with a good season this year.”

UE finished 6th in UAAP Season 85, with a 5-9 record. This time around, they’ll look to better their campaign.

As the host, Santiago is banking on his boys to give the UE community something to cheer for.

“We will try to do our best to give our school and the community a good season,” he said.

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