THE frontcourt roster of University of Santo Tomas has just gotten even more formidable.
The Tigers landed former San Sebastian Staglets center Jon Macasaet and added another inside force to an already powerful frontline cast that includes Karim Abdul, Aljon Mariano, and Paolo Pe in time for the coming UAAP men's basketball tournament.
Macasaet was a power off the boards for the Staglets last season when the school finished runner-up to three-time NCAA juniors champion San Beda. He averaged 10.6 rebounds – third best in the league – 8.5 points, 1.6 blocks, while shooting a respectable 48 percent from the field.
The 6-foot-3 Macasaet was seen in street clothes sitting at the back of the UST bench during the Tigers’ game against the Ateneo Blue Eagles recently in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
UST assistant coach Estong Ballesteros confirmed Macasaet has joined the Tigers and is actually part of the team’s lineup for the Filoil tournament, putting him in line for a spot in the school’s official roster for the coming UAAP Season 76.
However, Macasaet is still sidelined with a hamstring injury, according to Ballesteros.
The UST deputy mentor said Macasaet’s entry gives the Tigers flexibility in their frontline.
“Puwede namin siya malagay sa five (center) tapos si Karim (Abdul) sa four,” Ballesteros noted. “Maganda rin ‘yung shooting ng bata.”
Ballesteros added Macasaet will also be a good fit for UST’s future.
“Maganda rin para sa future namin dahil may big man kami kapag nag-graduate na si Karim at Paolo Pe,” said Ballesteros.