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    Five NCAA players to watch in 2021

    Dec 28, 2020

    CHALK 2020 as one of those rare forgettable years in the collegiate scene.

    With face-to-face classes barred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, action was rightfully halted for the better part of the year, leaving us craving for the eventual resumption of varsity action.

    Yet as the year comes to a close, it also leaves us with renewed optimism as we hope that things get better when 2021 rolls on.

    With that in mind, Spin.ph picked five names who we think will make a splash once the NCAA Season 96 return come next year.

    Rhenz Abando


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    It's still uncertain when the NCAA will return and equally mysterious if players who transferred in 2020 can already suit up, but how can you not be hyped for Abando's arrival in Letran?

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    Breaking out in his lone season in University of Santo Tomas, the Pangasinense forward only bolsters the Knights' quest to establish a new dynasty -- one that will be reeling from the departure of Larry Muyang.

    Just imagining him and his fellow newcomers like Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller to an already potent Letran side captained by Fran Yu, Jeo Ambohot, and Ato Ular has left men in Muralla planning for another championship party.

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    James Canlas


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    In a span of a year, Canlas turned from being a part of a killer San Beda quartet with Calvin Oftana, Evan Nelle, and Donald Tankoua to possibly being the lone shining light for the Red Lions, tasked in bringing back the glory to Mendiola.

    Nobody knows yet how the team will look like next season, but Canlas remains the only one certain: with the Fil-Canadian tasked to not just carry the scoring load but accept the leadership chores for San Beda.

    But if last season was any indication, Canlas will be more than ready for the responsibility as seen in him making the Mythical Team in only his sophomore season.

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    Mac Guadana


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    The CJ Perez era is long over, and same goes for the Marcelino twins, which means that Lyceum is bracing for new beginnings.

    Enter Mac Guadana, the homegrown star guard who will immediately be thrown into the fire in his rookie season under coach Jeff Perlas.

    Excitement is high on what the former Gilas Pilipinas Youth star can bring to the table, but what better way for the Pirates to rebuild than having a bluechip asset in Guadana as their foundational piece moving forward.

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    RK Ilagan


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    Allyn Bulanadi was the league's top scorer in NCAA Season 95, but don't expect San Sebastian to let go of that title next season with Ilagan still wearing the red-and-golds.

    The Tondo native, who is arguably the best shooter in the amateurs today, will have a huge chip on his shoulder, not just following Bulanadi's graduation but with him now being tasked to lead the Golden Stags herd.

    A surefire bet to wax hot and light up the scoreboards game-in and game-out, Ilagan is definitely a must-watch attraction once the action resumes and San Sebastian can only go as far as where he can take them.

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    Will Gozum


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    In the freezer for almost two years in University of the Philippines, Gozum gets a new lease on life and what better way for that reboot to come than in St. Benilde, a squad which has been in dire need of a capable big for years now.

    The former NCAA Juniors MVP will be a featured attraction for the Blazers this coming season as he's poised to pair up with super scorer Justin Gutang to hopefully end a near-two decade-long Final Four drought in Taft.

    Gozum will no doubt get his minutes in St. Benilde, and it's up to him to recapture his thunder down low just like he did in the high school ranks.

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