MANILA, Philippines -- Colegio de San Juan de Letran coach Bonnie Tan on Tuesday officially welcomed the trio of Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller to his team.
This came after the three players left University of Santo Tomas, in the wake of the "Sorsogon bubble" controversy. The men's basketball program and former head coach Aldin Ayo are the subject of investigations by different agencies for potential violations of quarantine protocols.
Joining Tan in welcoming the trio to Letran was Alfrancis Chua, the sports director of San Miguel Corp. who also holds a position in the college as an assistant to the rector for sports development.
"We are proud to add Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller to our program," Tan said.
Tan, who led Letran to the NCAA Season 95 crown by upsetting arch-rival San Beda, said he and Chua "did not turn a blind eye" to the three players when they asked if they could transfer.
"After all, Letran and UST are sister schools," he said.
"Their addition is certainly a huge boost to our program as they also bring their experiences to our championship core," Tan added. "Our team management, staff, and I have also done our homework on how we can easily integrate them into our team."
Abando, who left UST after just one season with the Growling Tigers, is expected to make a strong impact after a tremendous rookie campaign in the UAAP.
He wowed fans with his athleticism and shooting, averaging 11.71 points, 5.29 rebounds, and 1.29 blocks per game.
Paraiso, meanwhile, has a reputation as a shooter after making 32% of his 3-pointers in Season 82, and averaging 7.2 points per game. Bataller normed 1.9 points and 2.9 rebounds for UST.
All three players will have to sit out a season of eligibility.
"We definitely can't wait to work with them once we can return to the gym. But for now, we will guide them to becoming true Letranistas," Tan said.