By Ernest Martin Tuazon
Veteran sharpshooter Sherwin Concepcion and stretch forward Bryan Santos are ineligible to play for the UST Growling Tigers in the 85th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament, sources confirmed with TomasinoWeb on Tuesday morning.
With 10 days left before the league kicks off on Oct. 1, the Tigers saw a significant dip in their offensive arsenal as Concepcion and Santos, who were focal points in the University’s perimeter shooting and inside presence, bid goodbye to the University on their respective social media accounts.
“Thank you teammate[s] and UST community, let’s go USTe 🐯💛,” Santos said on his Instagram story.
“Forever Thomasian 💛🖤🤍,” Concepcion said on the same platform.
Both players have already turned 25 long before the season could begin. Concepcion was born on January 23, 1997, while Santos celebrated his birthday last May 26.
Concepcion was able to play in Season 84 as the UAAP allowed players who turned 26, but who did not turn 27 until the tournament ended in May. In addition, this rule was applicable granted that they are enrolled and have not exhausted their playing years.
However, these adjustments are now reverted come S85, as the league will implement its old eligibility rules to bring back the age limit to 25.
In Season 84, Shercon, a six-foot-two shooter, averaged 10.6 points per game (ppg) with shooting splits of 34.9 field goal percent and 29.7 (33-of-111) percent from beyond the arc, with 5.5 rebounds per contest.
Santos, a six-foot-five forward, posted 6.45 ppg boosted by a 26 percent shooting clip from three-point territory (13-of-50), accompanied by 5.73 boards per game.
Concepcion played an integral role in the University’s reign of the 3x3 men’s basketball tournament last June where he scored 12 points in the finals to notch a comeback win and bring home MVP honors against the DLSU Green Archers, 21–20.
Santos completed the UST quartet in their 3x3 victory with Nic Cabañero and Royce Mantua.
Tough to say the least has the Tigers’ off-season been with the departures of Gani Stevens and Willie Wilson, who took their act to UE, and Kean Baclaan, who transferred to the NU Bulldogs.
UST will now bank on Cabañero, who had averages of 12.4ppg, 6.21rpg, and one steal in his rookie year, to steer UST back to its winning ways come Season 85.