Converge has been keeping a close tab on the ongoing NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament.
After all, one of its high picks in the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft in JL Delos Santos is still playing out his senior year at Jose Rizal University.
Though ecstatic to see the 5-foot-11 guard deliver an 11-assist game against Colegio de San Juan de Letran last Sunday, Delos Santos’ outing against College of Saint Benilde left a sour taste on the mouths of FiberXers head coach Aldin Ayo and team manager Jacob Lao.
“As team manager and as a former athlete, I hold the highest regard for fair play and respect in sports,” said Lao.
“The unsportsmanlike acts committed by JL against CSB do not reflect the values we stand for which reinforces our commitment to upholding integrity and sportsmanship above all else.”
Ayo would add, “JL possesses the skills to be a remarkable floor general, yet the temper he displayed against CSB can be his Achilles’ heel. In the game of life, self-control and sportsmanship are as essential as any skill on the court.”
During Friday’s game, Delos Santos was called for two unsportsmanlike fouls that led to his ejection and disqualification from any post-season award.
“He was not thinking about the consequences of his action. His team needs him and it not only cost JRU the game against CSB but maybe their next game as well (versus Mapua),” lamented Ayo.
“What can he do to help his team if he is suspended?”
Then in overtime, Mark Sangco nailed a follow up bucket over Delos Santos with 2:22 remaining. As Sangco’s left arm got entangled with Delos Santos, the latter swung an elbow that barely missed the former’s face.
It resulted in his ejection and a one-game suspension which he will serve against Mapua on Sunday.
Delos Santos was given a tender offer by Converge.
That is why Lao is hoping Delos Santos cleans up his act for the rest of the season.
“At Converge, we uphold the highest standards of sportsmanship, and there’s simply no place for dirty players in our first-class organization,” stressed Lao.