By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Right after the Technological Institute of the Philippines’ suspension of all varsity teams as part of their cost-cutting measures, big men Bryan and Ivan Santos (not brothers) found a new home in coach Aldin Ayo’s UST Growling Tigers’ family.
Recognizing his team was undersized and sorely lacked big men, Ayo was able to find some needed help for his squad.
Ayo said that both Bryan and Ivan will play a crucial part in their system and will solve their size problem since both are naturally playing the four and the five positions.
Bryan, who stands at 6’5’’, averaged 16.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game during the 2019 PBA D-league Foundation Cup and was eyed by several universities including UST.
His low-post buddy, Ivan, stands at 6’6’’ and averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 boards per game in the same tourney.
Though eligible to play after one year due to residency rules, coach Ayo said he is excited about his young team’s future.
“Undersized ang mga bigs namin, kaya welcome sa amin ang ganitong mga recuits. ‘Yung ibang bigs namin, makaka-slide na sila sa three-spot,” said Ayo.