CEBUANO PBA prospect Leonard “Santi” Santillan is well aware of the long and colorful history of Cebuano big men in the professional ranks, with six-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen and veteran forward JR Quiñahan of NLEX Road Warriors paving the way.
With the 2021 PBA draft looming on the horizon this March, the pride of Lapu-Lapu City said he feels no pressure to follow in their footsteps as he looks to get his feet wet in the next stage of his career.
“I don’t really feel any pressure. Personally, I just tell myself that if they could play in the PBA, so could I,” Santillan said, quoted in an article from the PBA’s official website.
A product of the University of the Visayas before moving on to play for De La Salle University in the UAAP, the versatile 6-foot-4 forward is expected to be picked in the first round, thanks to an impressive resume that includes stops at Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, at Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, and the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 circuit, where he ended up as the sixth-ranked player in the entire country.
Santillan added that he’s not looking to follow in anyone’s footsteps but rather, he’d like to blaze a trail of his own.
“It’s hard to follow what these guys have achieved in the league, but I’m just happy to be able to play with them or be their teammate.”
Regardless of which team ends up picking Santillan, the soft-spoken forward said it can expect him to simply give it his all in every contest.
“I’m not the type of player who makes promises. I’m a player who gives it his best for his team to win.” (JNP)