AFTER losing a bulk of its key players to graduation, San Beda's high school team has retooled its roster with five recruits in preparation for its title-retention bid in NCAA Season 96.
Coach Manu Iñigo confirmed the arrival of Vhoris Marasigan and Michael Mara from University of the East, James Payosing and Reginald Ching of Jose Maria College in Davao and John Mowell Morales from College of Sciences, Technology, and Communications Inc. in Quezon.
"We're really blessed to get the commitments of these players because they can really fill up the spots of the players who graduated," said Iñigo. "The new players fit the system that we are running and they are also hardworking players. That's why we're excited and we can't wait to start our team practices."
Marasigan, a 6-2 swingman, averaged 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in his 20 minutes of play for the Junior Warriors last UAAP Season 82.
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-4 forward Mara posted averages of 2.2 points and 3.9 boards for UE in the past season.
Inigo brought in Payosing and Ching from Davao, believing that they have the capability to be future leaders of the Red Cubs. He also has been courting Morales for the last two years.
Their arrival fills the gap left by Rhayyan Amsali, Justine Sanchez, Yukien Andrada, and Tony Ynot, who have all have committed to the Red Lions seniors team of coach Boyet Fernandez after leading the Red Cubs to a championship.
Among the holdovers for the Red Cubs are Gilas Youth pool members Prince Alao and Migs Pascual, as well as CJ Delfino, Renz Nicdao, Wilmar Oftana, and Basti Valencia.
Inigo, who recently added decorated mentors Joe Silva and Anton Brodett to his coaching staff, anticipates his holdovers to step up next season.
"When it comes to leadership, I'm expecting my holdovers to do the job," he said.