MANILA, Philippines – The UE Red Warriors successfully secured the commitment of Filipino-American Luis Salgado, team manager Jean Alabanza confirmed to Rappler on Tuesday, July 26.
Salgado, who turns 24 years old in October, is a one-and-done prospect who stands at 6-foot-8 and can play from the perimeter.
Adamson and UST were also involved in preliminary talks to recruit Salgado.
He is the latest multi-talented product out of the Fil-Am Nation Select camp based in California, which also had UAAP Mythical Five member Zavier Lucero and incoming UP Fighting Maroon Henry Galinato.
The Red Warriors were in in the race for Galinato before ultimately losing out to UP. This time around, they got their own standout.
Salgado attended and played high school basketball at Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon, California before graduating in 2016.
He then went to San Diego City for college before transferring and redshirting at Stanislaus State, where he was teammates with incoming Ateneo Blue Eagles recruit Kai Ballungay.
“Luis is my guy,” Ballungay told Rappler when news got out of Salgado’s interest to play in the Philippines.
“He was one of the older guys on the team so I learned a lot from him that year, being that we play the same position. He’s a high-volume shooter, great IQ passer, and solid defender who can use his length.”
Salgado played 19 games in the 2021-2022 season and averaged 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest. He shot 39% from the field, 29% from deep, and 88% from the foul line.
A scout who requested anonymity compared Salgado’s game to last season’s UAAP Rookie of the Year.
“He could be another player like Carl Tamayo [at that size], shooting threes and defending bigs or foreign student-athletes.”
Alabanza is uncertain if Salgado will make it in time to play in the current FilOil preseason tournament, but is expected to make his debut when UAAP Season 85 kicks off in October.
The Red Warriors are coming off a disappointing 0-14 campaign last season and hasn’t been in UAAP contention for the last 12 years.
“His best quality is his leadership ability, though,” Ballungay said of Salgado. “He’s a glue guy on the team who I think can come into any program and instantly be highly respected. Very experienced and like I said, a high IQ player.”
Jack Santiago, the former lieutenant of multi-titled UAAP coach Franz Pumaren, is expected to coach the Red Warriors again after his first season with the team was cut short due to suspensions handed by the league and UE.
Ballungay, meanwhile, said his own documentation papers are ready as he prepares to play for Ateneo.
Assuming both Salado and Ballungay remain healthy, the former teammates will meet at least twice this coming season. – Rappler.com