UAAP Basketball

Gilas Youth’s Santi Romero heads to DLSU Green Archers

Naveen Ganglani

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Gilas Youth’s Santi Romero heads to DLSU Green Archers

LOYAL. Gilas Youth player Santi Romero stays in the La Salle basketball system.


Santi Romero, who saw action for La Salle Green Hills and Gilas Pilipinas Youth, says joining the Green Archers ‘would be the best situation to grow’

MANILA, Philippines – Santi Romero, who saw action for the Gilas Pilipinas Youth team in 2022, committed to join the La Salle Green Archers in UAAP men’s basketball, he confirmed to Rappler.

Romero, a senior in the La Salle Green Hills team that reached the NCAA  juniors finals last month, is eligible for five playing seasons beginning Season 86 later this year.

“I visited DLSU and I was supposed to visit UST and UP but DLSU’s plans for me were so good that we decided to commit there and not visit the other colleges,” Romero told Rappler in an exclusive interview.

The 18-year-old Romero will likely debut in Season 87 as he spends a year developing his game under new La Salle head coach Topex Robinson.

“My family didn’t want to go to DLSU at all at first and were telling me to go to UST or UP, but after visiting we decided it would be the best situation to grow,” the 6-foot-3 guard said.

Romero wasn’t as heralded as his blue-chip LSGH teammates like Seven Gagate and Luis Pablo, but he improved as the season went along, highlighted by a 12-point performance in the Greenies’ victory over San Beda in the Final Four.

He said he will “fight for a spot” to make the Season 86 roster but wouldn’t mind sitting out as well so he can “focus more on training,” which will likely be the case for his batchmates Ethan Alian and Matthew Rubico, also new recruits of the Green Archers.

When asked what else attracted him to La Salle, Romero said: “The environment and culture that they were trying to build were things that resonated with me, and they were all very welcoming to me.”

At DLSU, Romero will also see familiar faces in his friends Francis Escandor, JC Macalalag, Evan Nelle, Gelo Vito, and Alian, among others.

“Coach Topex’s plans for developing the recruits in the future are really what made me choose DLSU,” Romero shared. 

“With the amount of talented players and a really, really great coaching staff, I believe it would be the best place for me to grow as a player and a person with the values that coach will teach us. I am very excited to join the team and hope we could bring a championship to DLSU.”

Romero also said he particularly looks forward to learning from Nelle, La Salle’s starting point guard in his final season, because of the “countless of hours” he’s seen Evan put in to improve his game.

“I think his best attributes would be his decision-making and his confidence which are probably my weakest attributes and are what I want to learn from him as I want to try to become a combo guard,” said Romero, who like Nelle, has displayed a shooting touch from deep.

“The Phillips brothers (Mike and Ben) look like they are super fun to play with as well because of their endless motor on both ends and their leadership,” the new DLSU recruit added. –

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