UAAP: Luis Villegas showing his worth for UE | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Luis Villegas showing his worth for UE

/ 05:05 PM October 16, 2022

Luis Villegas UE Red Warriors UAAP

UE big man Luis Villegas shoots a jumper against UST in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Luis Villegas has been instrumental in University of the East’s decent start in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.

Villegas delivered an all-around performance of 17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals as UE got its first winning streak going this season after fending off University of Santo Tomas, 78-68, on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.


The Filipino-American forward, who was recruited by coach Jack Santiago in the United States, admitted that the UAAP is “not an easy league to play” with the physical teams. But he’s liking the competition and his transition with the Red Warriors.


“It’s lived up to the hype. It’s not an easy league to play. Every team is competitive and the physicality is real,” said Villegas after leading UE to its first win over UST in eight games. “It’s a little bit difficult but based on my experience, I feel like it’s a better transition. For sure, this is a tough league.”

Santiago praised the versatility of the 24-year-old, who averaged 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in their first four games.

“He can play like a wing guy. I think I would say, it’s an advantage for us. Earlier, I put him in the three spot then we played a 2-3 zone. I think we got a huge advantage from him,” said Santiago.

Villegas lauded his teammates as Nick Paranada, Jojo Antiporda, and Gani Stevens also stepped to deliver UE’s third win in five games, riding on the crest of its upset over La Salle last Wednesday.

“I’m grateful for my teammates. The first half was a tough shooting half for me but they were just persistent with me and telling me to just keep going with my game, and keep playing my game. Let the game come to me and it worked out,” he said.

UE will be tested in its next two games to end the first round as it battles defending champion University of the Philippines on Wednesday at MOA Arena before facing Ateneo on Sunday at Ynares Center Antipolo.

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TAGS: UAAP Season 85, UE Red Warriors

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