SANTI Santillan couldn't have asked for a better mentor in his path to the PBA than Glenn Capacio.
"Sinasabihan ako ni coach Glenn dati sa La Salle na kapag nasa PBA ka na, mag-ready ka lang kasi makakalaban mo, malalaki na," he told The Prospects Pod.
It's a wise move for Santillan to listen to someone like Capacio, who had a solid 13-year career in the pros with Purefoods, Mobiline, and Red Bull.
Capacio, who was one of Santillan's coaches during his time in Taft, won five PBA championships and carved a niche as one of the league's best mid-sized defenders.
But more than team success, what made Capacio a keeper back in his playing days is his pesky defense which led to eight All-Defensive Team citations.
"Pinapaalalahanan ako lagi ni coach Glenn dati na patigasin ko pa yung katawan ko kasi pag may nakabangga ako sa PBA, baka daw matumba ako. Yun yung tumatak sa akin," Santillan recalled.
The Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu native, however, seems like he'll do just fine in the PBA, if his previous campaigns provides any indication.
Santillan has shown tremendous grit during histime at University of the Visayas and La Salle in college, with Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, Bataan Risers and Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), and in the 3x3 game where he became the country's sixth-ranked player.
If Santillan is being viewed as a likely first-rounder in the March 14 draft, he attributes it to his blue-collar work ethic.
"Sa akin naman, magpapa-standout lang sa akin yung sipag lang talaga. Yun yung kailangan eh," he said. "Yung mga skills ko, tingin ko kailangan ko pang i-improve para pagdating doon ready na ready na. Pero alam ko naman na pagdating sa PBA, kailangan maging ready lang talaga."