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Nacua, 2 others transfer to Benilde; Buensalida goes to Letran


With De La Salle University securing numerous recruits, some of its pool players have opted to transfer schools.

James Nacua, Jake Gaspay, and Ernest Daja are going to College of Saint Benilde, while big man Aaron Buensalida is transferring to Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

UAAP-87-DLSU-James-Nacua Nacua, 2 others transfer to Benilde; Buensalida goes to Letran CSB CSJL DLSU NCAA News UAAP  - philippine sports news

Nacua, 19, is a 6-foot-4 true freshman who previously suited up for San Beda-Rizal. He finished his secondary studies at Westfields Sports High School.

Nacua also played for the Philippines during the FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2022, where he averaged 6.3 points on 42-percent shooting from deep, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 rebounds per game.

However, with La Salle loaded at the wing position, Nacua opted to remain with a green-and-white school – College of Saint Benilde.

2023-Pinoyliga-Ateneo-vs-La-Salle-Jake-Gaspay Nacua, 2 others transfer to Benilde; Buensalida goes to Letran CSB CSJL DLSU NCAA News UAAP  - philippine sports news

(C) Pinoyliga

On the other hand, Gaspay was a transferee from Immaculada Concepcion College.

Still just 22 years young, the athletic 6-foot-4 forward has three years of eligibility left for the Blazers.

Daja, 20, is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Davao City. Both Daja and Gaspay will have to sit out one year before being eligible for NCAA Season 101.

UAAP86-3x3-Aaron-Buensalida-6254 Nacua, 2 others transfer to Benilde; Buensalida goes to Letran CSB CSJL DLSU NCAA News UAAP  - philippine sports news

The Knights, meanwhile, get a huge catch in Aaron Buensalida.

Buensalida is a 6-foot-5 big man who is just 21 years old.

He is a multiple-time UAAP champion, winning the boys’ basketball crown with National University Nazareth School and the men’s 3×3 basketball crown with De La Salle University.

“Syempre masaya, and at the same time challenging din, kasi bagong opportunity na makapaglaro sa bagong team, bagong environment, and bagong culture. Sa tingin ko, mas ma-eexpose ako as a player at ma-showcase ko yung talent ko and at the same time makatulong din sa team,” expressed Buensalida, who only played three games in two years with the Green Archers.

“Pero siguro with regards sa mga adjustments within the team, hindi na masyadong mahirap sa akin kasi yung iba kakilala ko na at yung iba naging teammate ko na. So ayun, medyo madali na lang sa akin mag-adjust.”

At Letran, he will join a stacked roster that will feature a bunch of transferees. Despite the short time he had with La Salle, Buensalida remains grateful to the school.

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“Super grateful talaga ako sa stint ko sa La Salle kasi ito yung first team ko in my college career. Happy ako sa mga naging teammates ko kasi parang mga kapatid na rin ang tingin ko sa kanila, at madami na rin kaming bonding inside and outside basketball,” he said.

“Lalo na sa mga coaches and S&C’s na nag-develop sa akin kung ano man ako ngayon, super thankful parin ako sa kanila. Hindi ako mag-iimprove as a player and as a person kung hindi dahil sa kanila, kaya super grateful ako sa kanila,” he added.

“Talking about UAAP championships, it was a great experience talaga, lalo na sa 3×3 kasi back-to-back kami, and it is something na I’ll always have in my heart and I’m super proud of it. Siguro it is something na maipagyayabang ko and madadala ko sa pagtanda.”

All players are represented by Phenom Sports Management.

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