MANILA, Philippines – Noy Remogat, who was a third-stringer a season earlier, proved Saturday that he can lead the new University of the East.
Remogat made his presence known with an impressive double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds to power the Red Warriors past the University of Santo Tomas, 80-70, in the opening game of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Pinakita ko na hindi lang or panghuli. Kaya ko ring makauna,” Remogat said.
(I just showed that I can be a leader too and not just someone who is last in line.)
However, Remogat’s performance didn’t really come as a surprise after he showed flashes of his brilliance in UE’s final match of season 85, where he scored 24 points in an extra-time win over La Salle ten months ago.
The second-year guard, one of the few holdovers from Abdul Sawat, is embracing the leadership role for the Red Warriors, who have newcomers Precious Momowei and Jack Cruz-Dumont.
“I’m just embracing my new role. I just ask for the Lord’s guidance and follow what coach Jack (Santiago) says, like the things I need to do for my team,” Remogat said in Filipino.
Remogat credits the guidance of former UE star Paul Lee, who watched their match and took part in training.
UE coach Jack Santiago also expressed his gratitude to the Magnolia for providing advice to his players “as an assistant coach.”
“During the off-season he trained with us three times a week. He always preaches that point guards should be mature on the court. You have to know when to score and when to pass the ball. That is what I always remember about Kuya Paul,” he said.
Santiago, who coached UE for the past three seasons and worked as an assistant coach for La Salle in the past, sees a glimpse of JVee Casio in Remogat’s play.
“At the time I was still working at another school. I see JVee Casio in his style. He can penetrate, he can orchestrate, and at the same time, if he gets the chance to score, he will score. Court General, something like that,” Santiago said.
“(His performance today) is given. I always tell him that this will be an important season for him. He is currently the face of the team. I’m happy because I always preach to him that it’s not just about the points, but also about how to manage the rest of the team. He responded well as he had a double-double today. Hopefully he will continue to do so,” he added.
UE will take on the University of the Philippines at the MOA Arena on Wednesday.