University of Santo Tomas scored another recruit to help in its rebuild.
Fil-Aussie combo guard Royce Mantua has committed to the Growling Tigers, Tuesday morning.
What made Mantua decide to move from Far Eastern University-Diliman to Espana was that Growling Tigers head coach Jinino Manansala believes that the skills of the 6-foot-4 guard perfectly fit his system.
“I know that UST highly values my skillset and believes in my potential contributions towards their basketball program,” Mantua told Tiebreaker Times.
Back in 2018, Mantua, along with Harold Alarcon and Steve Nash Enriquez, were named as the top three under-16 prospects by the NBTC Elite 60. It earned them an invite to the Batang Gilas pool.
Season 83 though was supposed to be his breakout year but the season got scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic.
However, it did not stop him from developing himself as he went back home to Australia to play.
“Over the past year, I have been playing in Sydney competing in Basketball NSW (New South Wales) Youth League Tournament for the City of Blacktown Storm. Also played in other basketball tournaments like WSBA (Western Sydney Basketball Association), training four times a week and going to the gym,” he bared.
“At the same time, I’ve been doing online schooling with FEU High School”
Mantua will be one of the guards tasked to step up for UST after the departures of the likes of Mark Nonoy and CJ Cansino.
For Mantua, he is just glad to play in a different system that is up-tempo on offense and suffocating on defense.
“I’m really looking forward to learning from the new coaching staff because it’s a different brand of basketball,” he said.
“Of course, I can’t wait to play with my new teammates.”
UST also got the commitment of 6-foot-1 swingman LA Cansinillo.
Cansinillo transferred from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to UST High a year ago.