MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Kean Baclaan, a top prospect who has shone in preseason leagues, is leaving the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for National University (NU) ahead of UAAP Season 85.
Baclaan played for the Growling Tigers in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup as well as the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, but ultimately decided against enrolling in UST.
NU coach Jeff Napa confirmed to ABS-CBN News that the promising guard has already committed to play for the Bulldogs. Baclaan, a true freshman, will be immediately eligible to play in Season 85 and will have five full years of eligibility in the UAAP.
"Malaki ang role na gagampanan niya, kahit bago lang siya," said Napa, touting Baclaan's potential both as a player and as a leader for his team.
Baclaan averaged 16.2 points, 5.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game for UST in their stint in the Aspirants' Cup. This included a 35-point explosion against third-seeded Adalem Construction-St. Clare in the playoffs.
Baclaan will join an NU backcourt that includes Steve Nash Enriquez and LA Casinillo. The Bulldogs reloaded immediately after having lost Reyland Torres and Janjan Felicilda to the University of the Philippines in the offseason.
Meanwhile, it's another tough blow for the rebuilding UST program. They also recently lost big man Gani Stevens, who has since committed to play for the University of the East.
Catch replays of UAAP Season 84 games via the UAAP Varsity channel on iWantTFC, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.