By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The returning head coach Pido Jarencio is still not done with his moves after bringing in one of the best high school basketball players to ever play in the NCAA to the big stage of the UAAP.
Rhayyan Amsali, a former no. 1 high school hooper ranked by the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) three years ago, is set to boost the Growling Tigers after completing his transfer from the San Beda Red Lions.
The development was confirmed last February 23, 2023, announced by Jarencio and team consultant Bonnie Tan.
“Alam natin ‘yung laro ng bata. China-challenge namin siya na mailabas ulit yung pinakita niyang galing sa high school at makatulong dun sa rebuild na ginagawa namin dito,” said Jarencio.
Amsali once brought back lost glory to the San Beda Red Cubs after helping them win the NCAA Juniors championship title when they outdueled the Lyceum Jr. Pirates last 2019.
From a pure post-player, Amsali grew into one of the most versatile forwards in the collegiate ranks and is now a capable outside shooter who can also bring the ball from the backcourt.
Aside from his NCAA achievements, the leftie combo forward also had numerous stints for Gilas Pilipinas including a team-up with Ricci Rivero and RJ Abarrientos during the 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Despite a tough loss in the tournament, Amsali still put up efficient performances after anchoring team PHL’s interior together with reserve player Barkley Eboña.
Amsali will still have to serve a one-year residency as part of the UAAP men’s basketball house rules for transferring varsity players.
He will be ineligible to suit up for the Growling Tigers this upcoming UAAP Season and will receive a green light come UAAP Season 87.
According to the UST men’s basketball team, Amsali will have three eligible playing years and will still have the chance to backstop current Growling Tigers superstar Nic Cabanero.