NEW University of the East coach Jack Santiago has made moves to restock the Red Warriors roster for UAAP Season 83.
San Beda guard Josiah Alcantara is moving to UE after the 6-foot skipper averaged 4.4 points on a 30-percent shooting, 1.4 rebounds in 11 minutes of action in the Red Cubs' run to the championship in NCAA Season 95.
"I think makaka-adapt siya sa gusto namin na system which is pressure defense. Nakita ko yung potential ng bata sa system namin," said Santiago.
Also going to UE is Fil-Am playmaker Kyle Paranada, younger brother of former Adamson Falcon Nico Paranada.
In his senior year for Montgomery High School, the 5-foot-10 court general posted 23.5 points on a 38-percent shooting from threes, on top of 4.4 assists, 4.3 boards, and 3.7 steals in his 31 games for the Aztecs.
Those two are true freshmen and will play their entire five playing years for the Red Warriors, starting this next season.
UE also added Fil-Am winger Brian Enriquez, who is eligible for only one season with the Red Warriors.
The 6-foot-3 winger from Long Beach, California has previously suited up for St. Louis Community College before graduating in William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri.
In his final year, Enriquez averaged 8.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 31 games for the Owls.
"Pag nakita mo siya, hindi siya ganoon ka-athletic. Pero he can play the one to three positions and I think he will be a good leader para sa team. Malaking bagay yun," Santiago said of Enriquez.
Former St. Clare forward Orin Catacutan has also transferred to UE.
The 6-foot-2 swingman impressed this past 2019-2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup in his stints for Valenzuela, Muntinlupa and Sarangani.
Catacutan boosted his stock and became the leading scorer for the Marlins, posting 17.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 steals in nine games.
He also dabbled in the 3x3 circuit, playing for the Big Boss Cement-Porac in the 2020 Chooks-to Go Pilipinas 3x3 MelMac Cup.
Catacutan, however, will have to undergo a one-year residency with the Red Warriors hoping to have him for at least three more seasons.
For Santiago, this talent haul excites him as he starts afresh in UE, albeit still making do with their daily virtual training sessions.
"We're very excited with our team, with the way the players are adapting to our system," he said.
The Red Warriors are hungry to end an 11-year Final Four drought, with their last semifinals appearance dating back in 2009 when Paul Lee led the school to a runner-up finish in UAAP Season 72.