The recruiting machine of University of Santo Tomas has started to run in preparation for Season 85 University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Growling Tigers coach Bal David made moves, securing the commitments of Richi Calimag and Kylle Magdangal in a bid to reclaim the men’s basketball title that they last held in 2006.
Calimag, a 6-foot-4 winger, had already confirmed his commitment to the Tigers, saying that he couldn’t wait to don their black and gold jersey and be part of their winning tradition.
The brother of University of the Philippines standout RC Calimag and son of former PBA role player Ricky Calimag is a lefty with a feathery touch from the perimeter.
He previously played high school at La Salle Green Hills before moving to Diamond Bar High School during the pandemic.
Now, he’s back in Manila and ready to power the Tigers, who have been groping for form since the infamous “Sorsogon bubble” sent the program into chaos.
“They have a good plan for me and they have a good education so I chose UST,” said Calimag, who posted 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 44 percent from the field per game.
“I played for La Salle Green Hills before going here so I think I can handle the physicality. I’m up for the challenge. I’m sure me and my teammates will work hard for it. We’re going to be patient.”
“There’s going to be ups and downs but when it comes to winning, I know UST has a championship pedigree.”
He added that he is thrilled to play for David.
“Yes, I’m looking forward to being his player because he was a PBA legend and it’s an honor to be coached by him and for him to share his insights and fundamentals of the game,” he said.
Also committing to UST is Magdangal, the son of PBA great Kenneth Duremdes.
The 18-year-old Magdangal is the prized recruit of UST assistant coach Rodney Santos, Duremdes former Alaska teammate, from Marina High School in California.
The six-foot playmaker averaged 10 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in high school, which is good enough to land an athletic scholarship in a Division II program in the United States.
“If he’s going to improve under coach Bal, I’ll let him join UST,” Duremdes said.