IN his rookie year, Jordan Sta. Ana was a seldom-used player fresh from a winning UAAP high school program at National University under head coach Jeff Napa.
Now, Sta. Ana is making the most out of his playing time and the break he is getting in UAAP Season 80.
Sta. Ana is playing his first season with the Tigers this year, two years after he suited up for University of the East in his rookie year. Prior to UE, Sta. Ana was one of the key players of the dominant Bullpups squad coached by Napa.
But his first year in college was an uneventful one as he only averaged 1.4 points in 11 games with the Red Warriors.
This year though, he is flourishing under head coach Boy Sablan and is seeing a renaissance in his game that made him known as a scorer in high school.
In four games, three of which as a starter, Sta. Ana leads his team in scoring with 12.5 points on 21-of-39 from the field, while dishing out 4.5 assists for the Growling Tigers.
"Unang-una, nagte-thank you ako kay coach na binigyan niya ako ng chance na makapaglaro. Ang akin lang, ginawa ko lang trabaho ko kaya ako nasa loob. Lahat ng kaya kong itulong sa team, ginagawa ko talaga," said the 20-year-old Sta. Ana.
The 6-0 Sta. Ana said he doesn't regret leaving UE to play for UST even though it had to take a year before the played in the UAAP again.
Sta. Ana, a native of Cainta, Rizal, also said the presence of veterans in the UE squad that time also played a role in his decision to transfer.
"Nakatulong 'yung paglipat ko," Sta. Ana said. "Dito, parang buong team kami, nag-cocompete sa puwesto. Sa UE, maraming seniors. Good decision naman."
Although he is one of the leaders of the team, Sta. Ana and his performance has yet to translate into wins. Still, Sta. Ana remains positive that things will turn around for the Growling Tigers soon especially after coming close to beating Ateneo on Wednesday.
"Laro lang 'yung laro namin at wag mawawalan ng pag-asa," said Sta. Ana, when asked what Sablan has been saying to the team. "Gawin lang namin 'yung game plan namin."